Musicians hit Denver bars for St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser

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Colorado Emerald Society Pipes & Drums marching band performed Sunday evening inside the Celtic on Market to raise money to honor those who died in the line of duty.

DENVER — The sound of bagpipes and snare drums could be heard up and down Denver’s Market Street throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

“We are raising money for what we do all year long,” said Paulette Diaz, member of Colorado Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. “It’s an honor because we’re honoring our fallen fire fighters and fallen police officers and fallen medics.”

Colorado Emerald Society Pipes and Drums marching band performed Sunday evening inside the Celtic on Market. It’s not their typical scene. Normally, they play at funerals.

Diaz was a Denver firefighter for nearly 27 years. She retired in January and continues to give back through music.

“Wendi and I have both lost very close friends on this job, and it’s very heartbreaking when you lose someone,” said Diaz. “Everyone wants to go home at night, and we always say that but- we have to honor them.”

Wendi Smith has been fighting fires in Denver for 26 years.

“When we were hired- I was the 28th woman hired,” said Smith.

“I was the 25th hired,” said Diaz.

“Now, luckily there’s a lot more women in the job,” said Smith.

More women at the station, in the fire truck, and in their band.

“It’s been a long two days because this is our number one fundraiser for the year for the band,” said Smith.

“It’s great,” said Diaz. “It’s so much fun. And people are so welcoming. If you miss a stroke, chances are they’re not even going to notice.”

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Diaz started playing music in elementary school. “I played drums in fifth grade and the symbols in marching band in sixth grade.” That’s when her music career ended. Then, about three years ago, she picked up the sticks again. “It’s crazy how a lot of it came back to me, but I have to really work hard. I have to practice to get that sticking down,” said Diaz.

The band’s goal over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend was to raise $10,000 to help cover the cost of uniforms and travel so they can perform at the funerals of first responders.

“There are a lot of smaller departments that don’t have the money to bury officers,” said Diaz. Colorado Emerald Society Pipes and Drums marching band works to make sure those who died in the line of duty receive the respect they deserve. Click here to donate.

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Musicians hit Denver bars for St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser

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