Niagara Gazette — In Western New York, we are fortunate to have a large selection of summer concerts to attend, but for one weekend there's the option to enjoy the warm weather and some tunes all while raising money for a good cause.
That event is Lewiston’s annual Pubfest, which was created in 2009 by Ken Scibetta, co-owner of the Lewiston Village Pub. The purpose was to raise money for the Variety Kids Telethon, a charity that Scibetta’s family has been involved with for several decades.
“I wanted a fun, creative and innovative way to raise money,” he said. “People are likely to spend and give more then they get something in return.”
Scibetta said he had noticed a lack in fundraising for Variety Kids Telethon in Niagara County. In 2009 the general chairman for the Variety Kids Telethon was Ed DeVantier, and the Celebrity Child for the event that year was Sarah Kopasz.
Both of those people were from Lewiston and Scibetta said he saw it as the perfect time to take action, and thus Pubfest was born.
“I’ve always felt that businesses and individuals should give back either with their time or their money,” Scibetta said. “It started as a six-hour show on a Sunday and we raised $6,000. In the past four years we’ve raised $80,000 altogether.”
In past years, Pubfest added rides and games in an effort to raise more money, but they didn’t help as much as it was hoped they would. This year it was decided to go back to the way things were in the beginning.
“We’ve taken a lot of things away this year,” Scibetta said. “We’ve gone back to the grassroots of the festival like it was in 2009 with just bands, beer and food. We’ve stepped up our game a bit by having the two national headliners, a professional stage, lighting and sound.”