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Tolbert tops fundraising at Battle of the Bands

Guitar trophies went to top fundraiser John Tolbert and Mechanical Solidarity band.

At least 800 wildly enthusiastic fans watched five amateur rock bands vie for a trophy at Season Two Battle of the Bands.

Tolbert, lead guitar in Rock Lobster band, raised a record $50,000 for Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation. The announcement set off a group chant.

The winning band members were Jennifer Jager, Shanine Dorta, Erick Solms, Valentina Moretti and Stephanie Hicks.

This was a real live rock concert from beginning to end, announcer Bryan Hunt noted in the old IBM headquarters.

Community leaders formed the rock bands after lessons from School of Rock. They climbed into rocker costumes, tattoo sleeves and wigs. Most were unrecognizable from their usual business look.

The music school and alumni bands from last year performed first to warm up the crowd. Then the five competitors mounted the stage in the Boca Raton Innovation Campus.

Chamber president and CEO Troy McLellan and Golden Bell chair announced the winners.

Most people were hoarse afterward and nobody stayed in their chair.

By Marci Shatzman

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