BY MANDY CLARKE
This year’s Rock for the Red Cross Benefit Concert, Saturday, May 4, is starring Anthony Gomes, identified by Billboard Magazine and ReverbNation as a top blues artist. Sharing the bill with Gomes is Larry Crane, a native of Seymour, Indiana, who arranged, recorded, and toured with John Mellencamp for 16 years.
This is the second Rock for the Red Cross concert; the first was held last year at Players Pub and was such a success that this year’s event is moving to the 600-seat Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Tickets range in price from $10 to $30, with proceeds going to support the Monroe County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“We felt the event last year was very successful and saw the opportunity to involve a higher level of acts at a bigger venue to increase the fundraising effort,” says Phil Bowmer, the Rock for the Red Cross coordinator. “Both Anthony and Larry have a pretty impressive history and will be a huge draw.”
Adds Sue Gulley, the Red Cross community chapter executive director, “Beyond seeing some topnotch entertainers, I am always excited to present information about the Red Cross to new audiences. The importance of our vital services at times when individuals and families are most vulnerable cannot be overstated.”
Gulley says that in the past year the local Red Cross chapter has responded to multiple home fires and a tornado, helping a total of 38 families rebuild their lives after tragic losses. In addition, they trained more than 10,000 people in preparedness and health-and-safety services and organized 185 blood drives that resulted in 3,376 pints of blood.
A lesser-known facet of the Red Cross is its service to the armed forces, says Gulley. This includes the organization of a support network that works to better the lives of military members and their families, including the delivery of urgent family messages around the world. Without this assistance, service members might not be able to return home in times of family crisis.
“The services our chapter provides are ongoing, and many of these efforts go unnoticed even within our community,” says Gulley. “These so-called ‘silent disasters’ are the most common disasters responded to, and due to the frequency with which they occur, they account for a great deal of the total budget.”
For more information about the concert and to purchase tickets, visit their website.