Songs to Help Pay the Rent


The pandemic exposed many in Massachusetts to financial instability. Job losses, reductions in hours worked, and parents’ need to be home with students learning remotely—all have taken a toll on families. Norm Brzycki ’76 saw that stress and decided to do something about it. A leadership consultant from Marblehead, Massachusetts, he rounded up two fellow Wildcats, Jon Tullis ’77 and Jeff Baker ’77, and put on a virtual benefit show in April, which included performances from singer-songwriters Tom Rush and Livingston Taylor, as well as a rendition of the tune “I Need a Dollar” (and a tribute to Richard Gregory) by Williston’s own Caterwaulers. Brzycki’s band, Nashville Norm and the Roadside Attractions, was one of the 15 acts. “I just kept asking, and the biggest surprise was that people kept saying yes!” he said.

The show, called Help People Pay the Damn Rent!, raised more than $10,000. Donations went to the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, whose Our Communities Can’t Wait fund delivers 100 percent of donations quickly to people who need it. The fund is still accepting donations. “If we can impact people’s situations a little bit, I’ll be thrilled,” said Brzycki. Watch and donate at