Mummers String Band Launches GoFundMe for New Home

Photo courtesy Overbrook String Band

Photo courtesy Overbrook String Band

It’s been years since the Overbrook String Band has had a permanent home, but the historic Mummers group is trying to change that with a campaign on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.

Delaware County restaurateur Tony Blanche, who says he has been a fan of string band music since he can remember, offered the Overbrook String Band what is likely Delaware County’s best rent deal: a ten-year lease on the second floor of the Broadway Bar & Grille in Clifton Heights. It’s the sister restaurant of Blanche’s popular seafood destination The Clam Tavern, which is just across the street.

“I have a love for the Mummers’ history and tradition,” said Blanche. “This will help bring that to Clifton Heights. The whole community is embracing them.”

A buck a month is cheap, but there’s a catch. And it’s a big one. The second floor was completely gutted years ago, and there’s not even a way to get to the second floor. That’s right, there’s no staircase. And so, the Overbrook String Band decided to turn to crowdfunding for the solution.

Overbrook treasurer Diane Razzano launched the GoFundMe page late last week with a goal of $18,500, which will cover most — but not all — of the costs associated with moving into the Clifton Heights space.

In addition to a new home, the club is also looking to Clifton Heights for new members, says Bill Razzano, Diane’s husband and the captain of the band. The club has been in a rebuilding process. In 2009, there were just twelve members and lots of debt. Today, says the captain, Overbrook is in the black and has 60 members and is ready for a new beginning. Having a clubhouse is the next step and would allow the group to practice more than a few times a month.

Rewards for donors include tickets to a New Year’s Day party with the band (you get that for a $75 donation), a brick with your name on it outside of the club ($100), the chance to be a parade marshal and march along with the group on New Year’s Day in Philadelphia ($500), and a private Overbrook performance ($1,000) at your birthday party, wedding, etc.

“This is long-term,” says Bill Razzano, who explains that Overbrook has been borrowing space in fire halls and American Legions. “We’ve married ourselves to the community. Anything they want from us, we will be there. That’s what the string band is all about.”