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Pirate Pied-Pipers play benefit for Llewellyn Elementary

by: David F. Ashton, Captain Bogg works the crowd at the Westmoreland Llewellyn School benefit, saying, “Give me the first ‘group-Arrrr’ ever heard in the Moreland Theater!”

Some of the folks coming in the door are dressed like pirates; others are wearing pirate bandanas, eye patches, or tri-cornered hats. Still others are carrying skull and crossbones flags, as they file into the Moreland Theater.

Surprisingly, most of these colorfully-dressed characters aren't children going to see a high-seas adventure matinee. Instead, they are the adult parents of Llewellyn

Elementary School students coming to see Captain Bogg and Salty and their merry pirate band of musical scallywags on Saturday afternoon, January 20th.

While taking tickets from a stream of patrons coming to see the early-afternoon show, Llewellyn Foundation co-president Robin Johnson tells us, 'We love our 75-year old neighborhood school. The funds we raise from this benefit concert will help us hire an extra teacher. The result will be smaller class sizes.'

As the band is getting ready to appear, we ask Captain Bogg how the idea for this benefit concert got started. As usual, he grumbles, grunts, and pulls his First Mate up front, to answer our query.

'Julie Wright, the parent of a Llewellyn student, first approached us,' says the effable First-Mate McGraw. 'She had this idea that Captain Bogg and Salty could play a benefit concert at Moreland Theatre. The band agreed, and here we are!'

Typically, a sunny Saturday afternoon would be prime box-office time for the Moreland Theater. We ask Jim Hunt, who runs the theater with his wife, Lynn, why they donated the space for the event, instead of selling tickets to a Hollywood movie.

'We're glad to be helping raise funds to help out at Llewellyn School,' says Jim as he popped another batch of fresh popcorn. 'Our theater is supported by the community. We're deeply thankful for the people here in Inner Southeast Portland who support our Westmoreland movie house.'

The show starts off with Captain Bogg and the boys doing their famous 'Peg-leg Pirate Tango' and 'Pieces of 8ight'. From the first number onward, everyone is clapping along; some are dancing in the aisles.

On the way out, Johnson stops us to say that the foundation sold more than 400 tickets to the event, raising more than $2,500. 'Please let everyone know how much we appreciate their support of this event, on behalf of the Llewellyn Foundation.'

Johnson continues, 'For helping with advance ticket sales, we thank Wallace Books, New Seasons Market, Music Millennium, and the Llewellyn Elementary School office. Also, thanks to Molly Lee and Jennifer Maxwell-Muir for the posters and tickets, and Moreland Presbyterian Church for equipment. And finally, thank you so much to the many volunteers who helped in so many ways.'