Irwin Park concert benefits Westmoreland Food Bank and the Blackburn Center
Rock for Hope combines music and charity.
Members of the youth group at Norwin Christian Church have teamed up to support two area charities through an evening of entertainment.
Their concert — Rock for Hope — is from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12 at Irwin Park. There will be performances by two bands and two soloists, as well as a Chinese auction and carnival games for the whole family. Admission is free, but there will be a charge for some of the activities — to benefit the Westmoreland Food Bank and the Blackburn Center.
Artist Cody Sabol also will be doing speed paintings and auctioning them that evening.
The youth group, in grades 9-12, chose this event and the beneficiaries after a trip two summers for a conference called Christ in Youth. The teens were challenged to choose a cause so they decided on poverty and social justice.
“It is a great group and we are really excited to see them engaged in this issue,” says Ann Emmerling, executive director at Blackburn Center. “They have great energy and this will be another opportunity get the word out for us.”
“This will be a real world experience for these teenagers,” says Jennifer Miller, director of development for the Westmoreland Food Bank. “We say the face of hunger would definitely surprise you. It could be anyone. We are all one illness or job loss from needing help. We are appreciative of the youth group. It is an honor to be part of this event along with the Blackburn Center.”
Organizers hope to make this an annual event, says youth group member Jonathan Slatt, who will perform with both bands and who also has been instrumental in the planning.
The bands are Brothers United and The Bridge Band and will entertain with a mix of contemporary rock and contemporary Christian music, as well as some original songs. There will also be music by soloists Calvin Kelly and James Stanley.
“We have done a lot of this planning ourselves,” Slatt says. “The community has been wonderful in supporting us.”
It's been a humbling experience, says Linsy Wilson, youth sponsor at the church. She says the teens realize how fortunate they are living in the U.S. and that there are people who don't have the same opportunities, so being able to help others is part of their mission.