BELFAST – Local nonprofits Atlantic Challenge USA and Belfast Flying Shoes jointly present the Gawler Family Band in a special benefit concert Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 95 High St. All proceeds after expenses will support Atlantic Challenge USA and its community-building maritime programs.

Inspired by years of playing for dances in old grange halls, the Gawler Family brings a particular focus on sentiments that reflect life in rural Maine, with unique arrangements, historical context and humorous anecdotes. John and Ellen Gawler are joined by their daughters, Molly, Edith and Elsie Gawler, along with Bennett Konesni and Ethan Tischler. The full band features the high-spirited sounds of fiddle, banjo, guitar, cello and bass.

“Come one, come all!” for sea shanties, work songs, fiddle tunes, and the lush harmonies and beaming faces of these beloved Maine musicians. This concert celebrates the conclusion of an Atlantic Challenge USA program in Penobscot Bay. Thanks to the long association the Gawlers have with the presenting nonprofits, this concert will be a corker!

Atlantic Challenge USA provides personal development, youth empowerment, seamanship skills, and a connection to maritime heritage for participants of all ages, through rowing and sailing Bantry Bay gigs and other traditional boats. Belfast Flying Shoes was founded in 2005 with a mission to bolster the spirited dance and music community of Midcoast Maine.

Suggested admission for this special fundraiser is $10-38, sliding scale. (Fun fact: Bantry Bay gigs have 10 oars and are 38′ long.) Doors open at 6 p.m. and masks are heartily requested. For details, visit or, or contact