Thursday, July 25, 2024

Local Facebook community rallies behind downtown saxophonist to raise money for stolen case

Longtime downtown fixture Glenn McRae’s saxophone case was stolen outside Bourbon Street; Gabriel Stabile decided to do something about it.

Downtown Wilmington street saxophonist Glenn McRae had his case and equipment stolen last week. (Port City Daily photo | Courtesy) 
Downtown Wilmington street saxophonist Glenn McRae had his case and equipment stolen last week. (Port City Daily photo | Courtesy Gabriel Stabile)

WILMINGTON – An outpouring of concern for Wilmington street saxophonist Glenn McRae was evident Tuesday afternoon when a fundraiser raised $690 in less than a day to replace the musician’s stolen equipment.

It all began when Gabriel Stabile encountered McRae Monday morning during his walk to work along Front Street, as he does three or four times a week. When McRae told him that his saxophone case was stolen last week outside Bourbon Street, where he commonly performs in the evenings, Stabile told him he’d look around for a replacement.

After posting in a couple Facebook groups Monday evening, primarily the ILM Foodies community, the response was much larger than he expected.

“It kind of grew like a snowball rolling down the hill,” Stabile said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Stabile launched a Facebook fundraiser and within three hours he had raised $360 – well over his original goal of $200.

“(McRae) is truly a staple of downtown Wilmington,” commented ILM Foodie member Leigh-Anne Barrigar. “Back when I still lived downtown he would always play a kids song whenever I walked by with my little girl. He’s a sweet sweet man. ”

Member Allen Ross has known McRae since his days driving him around as a cabdriver.

“He is a very polite and gracious man,” Ross commented. “The little bit he makes playing supplements his (social security).”

Gabriel Stabile holds a case he bought on Tuesday afternoon to give to local street musician Glen McRae, whose own case was recently stolen outside Bourbon Street in downtown Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo | Mark Darrough)
Gabriel Stabile holds a case he bought on Tuesday afternoon to give to local street musician Glen McRae, whose own case was recently stolen outside Bourbon Street in downtown Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo | Photo courtesy of Robin Salter)

Stabile bought the case at Finkelstein’s Music on Front Street and plans to give it to him Wednesday morning. After consulting with his Facebook supporters, he says he will use the extra funds to pack an old book bag with local eatery gift cards, new shirts, shoes and warmer clothes for the winter.

“I don’t really feel like I did anything important but it seems like it’s going to make all the difference to him,” Stabile said late Tuesday afternoon. “It speaks volumes to the community here in Wilmington that people want to help out on their own and make sure people have what they need to survive day by day.”

 

The fundraising homepage set up by Wilmington resident Gabriel McRae, where a total of $690 was raised to replace street saxophonist Glen McRae’s stolen case. (Port City Daily photo | Mark Darrough)

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