This year's event bears the rarest of gifts: A reunion of the original line-up of Cleveland metal legends Breaker. The beloved 1980s band from Bedford will features, from left: Mark Klein, drums; Ian Shipley, bass; Jim Hamar, vocals; Michael Klein, guitar; Don Depew, guitar.(Photo by Anastasia Pantsios/Courtesy of Auburn Records)
By John Petkovic, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus. And he wears leather and denim and likes to head-bang.
Ho, ho, ho, it's the Cleveland Heavy Metal Holiday Food Drive.
At 5 p.m. Saturday, the ninth installment of the annual bash will bring nine metal and hard-rock bands, the Red Hot Heathens burlesque troupe, three comedians and Playboy Playmate Danielle Dior to the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland.
Ah, but this is more than a head-banging extravaganza: Attendees are asked to bring canned food and cash donations to benefit Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Friends of the Cleveland Kennel.
"Metal fans get stereotyped, but they are generous when it comes to good causes," says organizer Bill Peters. "They're working class people who can relate to people that are working hard or looking for work or find themselves struggling to get by."
Last year's event raised 6,700 pounds of food and 5,800 dollars - and many of the donations came from metal fans struggling in their own right.
"Every year, we have people that have lost their jobs yet use what little money they have to buy and donate food for others," says Peters. "But I want people to know that they can still come down, even if they don't have anything to give. This show can be a gift to them."