In April, Colleen Cherry raised a significant amount of money for SPCA Tampa Bay in a way that combined her love for animals with her passion for singing and playing the ukulele. “I decided to write songs for people’s pets,” she said Monday on The Catalyst Sessions. “In exchange for a five dollar donation.”
Cherry, who became the organization’s Volunteer Program Manager in 2019, calls herself “super-competitive.” As such, she wanted to make a splash with her first SPCA fundraising effort.
She announced her songwriting project through social media. “I set a goal for $500,” she recalled, “and ended up writing 61 songs in a week … and raising over $1,400.”
Colleen Cherry is one of those rare birds in the St. Pete/Tampa Bay arts community – someone whose presence and participation always seems to bring out the best in others.
After playing accused ax murderer Lizzie Borden in Jobsite Theater’s 2016 production of the rock musical Lizzie, she became one of the theater’s valued artistic associates, helping to decide which plays should be considered for each season and other important tasks.
Cherry was heavily involved with the recent “Give Jobsite” initiative, which raised $30,000 for the currently-in-limbo company in a single day.
Talk also turned to the Florida Bjorkestra, of which she is a longstanding member, and one of its chosen lead vocalists.
“Every time I’m onstage with those people, and get to sing with those people, it’s unreal,” she said.
On this program, Cherry performs three original songs.
Tuesday on The Catalyst Sessions: Rock guitarist and singer Tony Tyler.
Weekdays at 7 p.m. on the St. Pete Catalyst Facebook page.