The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 10, 2013

Fundraiser to feature Michael O'Brian Band


JOHNSTOWN — A fire hall will be turned into an Irish pub for an evening of lively entertainment.

The Michael O’Brian Event, benefiting Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department, will begin at 6 April 20 at the firemen’s banquet hall, 1321 Scalp Ave., Richland Township.

“This is our second year,” said facility coordinater Jen Heffelfinger.

“We sold 350 tickets last year, and I plan on selling 400 this year.”

The two-man band has been a big draw for the fire department.

Heffelfinger said they performed the first year, and she has them scheduled already for next year.

The band features Michael Zerbee and Brian Anderson.

The two had performed together in rock bands since 1976 and were inspired to perform live Celtic music in 1998.

They used their first names to convey they were an Irish act.

Zerbee’s guitar work is the foundation of their music, with Anderson adding the flute, penny whistle and bodhran or Irish drum.

The two perform an audience-participation show laced with humor, parodies, tongue-twisters, toasts, jokes and Irish pub songs with occasional ballads and rebel tunes.

The emphasis is always to keep the show upbeat and lively, with audience members often invited onstage to perform with the band.

Doors will open at 6, with a buffet dinner from 6:30 to 7:30. The band will perform from 8 to 11, and a DJ will close out the night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Heffelfinger considers the ticket price, $25, a great deal because a full meal, adult beverages and the band and DJ are included.

The buffet dinner will feature grilled chicken sandwiches, meatball hoagies, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, tossed salad and cake.

Two types of beer will be available, with Guinness at an additional cost. Soft drinks also will be available.

Proceeds will go to the fire department’s general fund, which is used for whatever is needed.

“This time of year, our funds are low because it’s before our fund drive,” Heffelfinger said.

“Tickets will only be sold in advance and not at the door. The deadline is Tuesday because we have to pre-order the food.”

Fire hall fun

What: Michael O’Brian Event.

Where: Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department, 1321 Scalp Ave., Johnstown.

When: 6 p.m. April 20.

Tickets: $25.

Information: 266-4331, ext. 312, or

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.