Saturday, June 8, 2019

NJ Event: The Voice Singer Wé McDonald to Headline Benefit Concert for, Local Bands, Games, Food Trucks Make it A Great Day for the Family

 Wé McDonald, talented singer/songwriter
from THE VOICE to appear at #Bergenfest

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

An amazing talented finalist from NBC's The Voice, a bevy of talented local musicians and high school students from several New Jersey schools are all "TEEEMing" up to put on a concert for a cause. This benefit concert, called Bergenfest will be held at the Benjamin Franklin Middle school in Ridgewood, New Jersey on June 29 from noon to 7 PM. Headlining the concert is the talented singer/songwriter and author Wé McDonald from NBC's The Voice, who was a semifinalist on Season 11 under the wings of Alicia Keys. This fun- filled day is great for the family, lots of music, exhibits, arts and crafts, face-painting and food trucks.

The concert is to support the non-proft organiztion called TEEEM. TEEEM is an organization that works with high school students to provide economic, educational and medical support to impoverished countries all over the world. What is unique about #TEEEMinc is that local high school students support the activities and learn entrepreneurship at the same time. Tickets are $20 or $50 a family of up to six people, and seniors and children under 6 pay $15. It's a day of fun and music for the entire family. Organizers of #Bergenfest state that all of the proceeds will directly go to the TEEEM sites around the world. The concert is rain or shine. Chairs and pets not permitted.

To Buy Tickets:
Visit: OR
Text Bergen Tix to 41444 to pay via text. 
If you cannot attend the concert but would like to donate, you can visit the website or Text Bergenfest to 41444 to donate

Wé McDonald made quite an impression while she was on the voice. Working with the award-winning Alicia Keys, she had a duet with John Legend and came in third on Season 11. Since then, we's sultry voice and incredible uniqueness has kept her career in full swing since then. She has performed at the PBS Gershwin Awards and also sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium.  She will performed at  the Iridium in New York City on on June 21, 2019. She is an author, having written Make It Happen! Wé McDonald: snger and also a book about  bullying detailing her experiences as a child called The Little Girl with the Big Voice. This singer/songwriter recently released her latest single, If I Didn't Love You and is scheduled to release her self-titled EP in late 2019. Visit

Exclusive: Interview with Wé McDonald 
Band scheduled to play are: Collision Theory, Fat Boi's Brass Band, Wishbone, Jason Recht & Friends, Jake Thistle, No Soap Radio, and Samantha Haase. Wé is currently scheduled to  perform at approximately 5pm. Check the website for times and updates as new bands may be added as well.  William McKee, NHRHS alumnus and student of Jazz Performance and Music Management at William Paterson University is volunteering his services as Musical Director for Bergenfest.

 Jason Recht playing with Lou Pallo, (left), Vic Danzi, (right), Jimmy Owen, (back).
Local Students Helping and Learning

Students who participate in the TEEEM programs at Bergenfield, Ridgewood, Northern Highlands, Pascack Valley, Waldwick, Westwood and Hackensack have been working hard to support this event. Through student and school participation there have already been over 1,000 tickets sold and they are all working hard on their social media to get the word out

Fat Boi's Brass Band will appear at TEEEM's Bergenfest

Abby Hoffert, a student in the TEEEM program at Northern Highlands Regional High School states, "Bergenfest is a really exciting event because it is the culmination of all of our hard work. Not only is it going to be a day filled with music, great food, and fun, but the money we raise is going to make a real difference in the lives of so many people around the world."  Kaylin Marshall of Ridgewood High School adds, "I love that we can come together as one huge community and raise money for an extremely important cause by having fun and sharing the arts with each other. Overall, Bergenfest is an amazing way to add more beauty to the world through education." 

TEEEM students from Westwood High School NJ support projects in Ethiopia

What TEEEM Does

Jarret Schecter, founder of TEEEM, explains what Teems does.  He states, "Teeem provides funding to remote, underserved and very poor communities in the developing world with funding, so that that they, in turn, can invest in medical, economic and educational initiatives to empower their communities. Correspondingly, TEEEM matches these sites with high schools, so that these high schools can collaborate with TEEEM so that collectively we can run a business in which the bottom line is lives and communities saved for a stronger and better world. You can say that the international sites and the local NJ schools are colloquially two sides of the same coin. From a site perspective, so little money goes so far in a very unequal world and from a local student perspective, they are students today but global decision-makers of tomorrow. As TEEEM strives for a world of greater Empathy, Equality and Entrepreneurship (the three E's in TEEEM), doing our part to further cement the connection between local students and faraway sites is our goal in an increasingly shrinking and instantaneous world."

For the last few years TEEEM has been building their connections with local schools in NJ, helping to inspire and educate students. Jarret adds, "Regarding latest accomplishments, we are matching more sites with schools, in which our latest pairing was between a site at nearly 12,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes and Bergenfield High School. We are also now establishing a site in providing medical outreach in rural Mongolia, and we are establishing a site in Slovakia where we are helping to outfit homes with plumbing for the Romani gypsies-a very marginalized community. We are looking to pair the last two sites with schools in Bergen County. Also and because of our geographic and program diversity, we are soon to embark on creating a high school curriculum to go along with the hands-on experience of working with these sites. Consequently, connecting students with sites with a soon to be academic experience will in a sense complete what we hope is a gratifying trilateral experience." 

Meals provided by TEEEM                                                                                                                      Photo Jarret Schecter

TEEEM Book - $20 Provides 200 Meals

TEEEM's activities and successes are chronicled in a full color book which the students contributed to. Entitled Humanitarians of New Jersey it will be sold at the event. At a cost of $20 the full proceeds from the book can provide up to 200 meals for malnourished children. The TEEEM students at Bergenfield High School created a film about TEEEM. You can view it here: 

The sponsors for Bergenfest are: Shop Rite/Inserra Supermarkets,  Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union, RE/MAX Properties and  Wells Fargo.

 For more information on the organization, sponsorship opportunities or the concert:

You can also email TEEEM volunteer Dan Recht: or call him at  973-768-5814 with questions.

Ridgewood High School NJ Supports a School in Cambodia