The History of Wilton Rocks
Wilton Rocks for Food is the brainchild of Wilton resident Andy Schlesinger. A lifelong guitar player, he had just left his band and was looking for something to do. He read an article about shortages at the Ct. Food Bank and had an 'aha' moment. He hoped to recruit a few musicians, put on a show and raise a few bucks To be honest, he was hoping to find his next band, but he got much more than that. His friend and drummer extraordinaire Brennan Gildersleeve was his first call, and after he said yes, Andy posted on the local Facebook page. Several people suggested he contact Dan Berg . Although they had never met, Dan agreed to play bass and the Wilton Rocks for Food House Band was born.
The response was strong and over 20 Wilton musicians reached out to be a part of this event. Months of rehearsing in Andy's basement culminated in the first show in December of 2015. 250 guests partied to over 3 hours of live music and more than 30 local businesses donated to the Silent Auction. The initial goal was a modest $10,000, yet by the end of the night, the first Wilton Rocks for Food raised $26,000.
After word got out about this amazing event, 2016's event featured over 30 musicians playing 4 hours of music to a sold out crowd of 300. With over 60 local businesses donating to the silent auction and a growth in corporate sponsors, the Second Waltz raised over $48,000.
For 2017, tickets sold out in 2 days and we raised $81,000.
In 2018 Wilton Rocks for Food sold out in 8 hours! We set what we thought was an aggressive goal of $100,000, but thanks to the incredible generosity of the community, we raised $125,000! The event featured 35 musicians and the silent auction had 100 items.
In 2019 Wilton Rocks for Food sold out in 4 hours and raised $135,000 and counting.
In 2020, during the pandemic we still managed to raise $70,000, bringing us to almost $500,000 since our inception. .
For 2021, Wilton Rocks for Food raised almost $175,000
For 2022 Wilton Rocks raised almost $160,000
For 2023 Wilton Rocks raised $122,000
100% of the money raised goes to charity,, with funds split between the two recipients. The entire event is put on by volunteers. We are fortunate to have a large group of friends willing to spend the night ensuring it's a success. This event could not exist without them, and we are forever grateful
Photo Top. Founder Andy Schlesinger, Brennan Gildersleeve, Dan Berg
Photo Bottom. Lynn Vanderslice, Wilton First Selectwoman,
Andy Schlesinger, Bernard Beaudreau, CEO Ct Food Bank