NORWICH – The Blarney Stone Pub, 26 South Broad St., will host the second ever Songs for Casey from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, with all proceeds from the musically inspired fundraiser benefiting the In Memory of Casey Decker Scholarship Fund.
Originally conceived in early 2013 following the unexpected death of 31-year-old Casey Rae Decker in an automobile accident the morning of Dec. 27, 2012, the first Songs for Casey drew dozens of friends and family members together to celebrate the young woman’s life and memory. The scholarship fund bearing Casey’s name benefits “a local athlete seeking to further their education in either the athletic or dancing fields where need is a factor,” according to Casey’s mother, Gloria “Scottie” Decker.
And yet there’s more to the event than simply collecting donations. For family and friends of Casey’s it’s a chance for healing; a time to share stories and memories of the inspirational and talented young woman. Live music, an integral part of Casey’s life, will once again provide a medium. Said guitarist and musical organizer Brian Golden in 2013, “This [is] simply the only way we could think of to celebrate Casey. Music was such an important part of her life.”
Joining Golden once again will be guitarist Mike Davis and drummer Nick Andrews, both of whom were on hand for the first Songs for Casey. Davis and Golden, joined by Kobie Decker Natoli (Casey’s sister) and Stacy Atwell (a long-time friend), came together to organize the event. A number of local businesses, artists and musicians will contribute to the memorial, which will include a 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction. Musically, an opening set by Golden, Davis and Andrews will be followed by offerings from local musicians Bob Tousignant (joining Davis on stage and featuring special guest Jes Sheldon), Syracuse’s Golden Novak Duo, Uncle Uku & The Guise, and the Casey Rae All-Stars.
“Speaking for the Decker family, Casey’s friends, and myself, we’d just like to thank all those who are donating their time and talent to this special event,” said Golden. “The first Songs for Casey was so inspirational and such a healing experience for everyone involved and it’s great to see the event growing and expanding in such exciting ways.”
A 2000 graduate of Norwich High School, Casey spent time instructing tumbling and gymnastics with the Perkins School of the Arts, teaching a number of other courses as well. Following graduation, Decker went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Southern Vermont College in Bennington, VT, furthering her education at Morrisville State College and receiving her Certified Nurse’s Aide degree. At the time of her passing, she was employed at the Norwich Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. She also spent time as a substitute teacher with the Norwich City School District.
To donate to the In Memory of Casey Decker Scholarship Fund, contact the Norwich NBT Bank at 337-6136. For more information visit facebook.com/2ndannualsongsforcasey.