B-Tropical’s Yvon Tatafasa stops at a memorial in Newtown, Conn. The york-based band played a Sandy Hook benefit concert Thursday.
B-Tropical's Yvon Tatafasa stops at a memorial in Newtown, Conn. The york-based band played a Sandy Hook benefit concert Thursday. (SUBMITTED)

Yvon Tatafasa said he cried every day this week.

The York musician, like millions across the country, wept for the lives lost during the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. He felt anxious to do something, anything.

After an unexpected call, quick planning and a 6-hour drive, Tatafasa found himself on stage Thursday night in Newtown. His local reggae group, B-Tropical, performed during a Sandy Hook benefit concert at Pub25 American Grille.

Tatafasa said he hoped to unite the community for just a moment with tunes, including "One Love" and "Redemption Song."

"The majority of the songs I chose (were) to make everyone ... feel that they have family everywhere," Tatafasa said.

Dan Karst stood in the crowd, which included hundreds of people throughout the night.

The Dec. 14 shooting urged Karst, who runs a Glen Rock dog training business, into action. He said he couldn't fathom losing his daughters, both of whom attend Southern Elementary School.

When Karst learned that Pub25 was trying to organize a series of benefit events, he called Tatafasa.

Karst said he's seen B-Tropical several times and felt the group's soothing music would be a good fit for the fundraiser. With the help of friends and businesses in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, Karst and the band hit the road Wednesday evening.

"(Newtown) has been inundated with donations from around the world," he said. "This is one little piece we could offer."

Pub25 and community members welcomed them with open arms, despite their heartbreak.

Karst said the concert raised thousands of dollars for Newtown's Sandy Hook Support Fund. He added that he wasn't aware of the final total as of Friday afternoon.

"From what we gather in speaking with the town managers last night, the majority of the funds from our concert will be going to counseling for the families," Karst said.

The benefit show ran well into the early morning hours on Friday. For many in the pub, it was an emotional time.

Tatafasa didn't get much sleep, but he said he had another stop to make before the band packed up around 11 a.m. Friday.

In the chilly drizzle, he stood by the town's memorial and wept once more.


Read a 2011 interview with B-Tropical

Ways to help: The United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank created the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to provide support services to the families and community members. Monetary donations can be sent to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund; c/o Newtown Savings Bank; 39 Main St.; Newtown, CT; 06470

Judi Scarpelli and Stand-Capitol Performing Arts Center CEO are interested in organizing a York County benefit concert to for families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Local bands and people who would like to help can contact Wesler at kwesler@strandcapitol.org or Scarpelli at 717-681-3479 or judi.scarpelli@gmail.com.

Dan Karst said Pub25 is planning a larger benefit show for February. Get updates on the pub's Facebook page.