Mannarino Headlines Ryan Cappelletty Benefit at Molly's
Saturday, Nov. 20
The music may be changing, but the venue and cause remain the same.
After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, Edinboro University is bringing back its annual Ryan Cappelletty benefit concert, to be hosted once again by Molly Brannigan's from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, November 20. The event raises money for a scholarship fund named for Ryan Cappelletty, a McDowell High and Edinboro University graduate who was killed in his first year of service as a police officer in Chesterfield County, Virginia in 2003.
The featured musical performer is Erie's Mike Mannarino. He replaces Ricky Manning and his Donnie Irish Band. Manning, a detective sergeant with the Allegheny County Sheriff's Department in Pittsburgh, was unavailable this year due to a scheduling conflict.
"My solo shows mix country, rock, and even a few pop tunes," Mannarino says. "But the music is all focused on helping people to have a good time."
Mannarino, who also fronts the popular local country band 100 Proof, was more than happy to lend his talents to the cause as a solo performer. Although he plays a variety of music, Mannarino's country and southern rock leanings are certainly authentic. The Dallas native's first band was called Southern Fried – later going on to front Next of Kin – and he remains a diehard Cowboy's fan to this day.
In keeping with the Celtic theme of the venue, Edinboro University bagpiper Mia Harvey will also perform. The graduate student anticipates mixing some Christmas music into her special set in a nod to the festive holiday decorations at Molly Brannigan's. She will also be joined by fellow graduate student Tommy Taylor on vocals and guitar as they duet on a traditional Irish favorite.
The event also includes a silent auction featuring items donated from multiple businesses and organizations around Erie County, as well as a 50/50 raffle.
"We're hoping for a nice crowd of Edinboro alumni, friends of the Cappelletty family, police officers, really anyone who wants to have fun and support a great cause," says Victor Hudson, manager of annual giving at Edinboro University.
Hudson is an Edinboro alumnus and experienced administrator at Edinboro but is a rookie when it comes to being part of the planning team for the Ryan Cappelletty benefit. "I'm just happy to be involved and look forward to having a good time," he says.
The event is free, but donations are encouraged. – Tony Peyronel
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. // 506 State Street // Free, but donations accepted