Benefit concert honors local firefighters and EMS
A charity concert was held at the Opera House last weekend to honor local firefighters and EMS workers. VISTA Chris Butsavage, of Bethesda, Maryland, helped organize the event.
“Gibbs Kinderman was huge in planning this,” explained Butsavage. “It was his idea originally to have this concert and then he kind of put me in charge of it. The purpose of the concert was a benefit for rescue squad workers — EMS and firefighters in Pocahontas County. For what they did not only during the derecho and Hurricane Sandy, but to show appreciation for what they do every day.”
Performances Saturday night featured some local favorites.
“We had The Viney Mountain Bluegrass Boys, then Andrew LaCasse and Jake Bing played a fantastic set, Doug Scott — a member of Viney Mountain — played a great solo set too. Then we had a couple of surprises — Richard Hefner, Sr. and Lynmarie Knight played and sang also. The quality of the music was just amazing — everything we could've hoped for.”
Butsavage said all the musicians took time out of their busy schedules to play at the concert.
“They were all doing it for free,” said Butsavage. “This was kind of a community service for them. No one had any issues with doing it whatsoever. They were great about it. They just played their hearts out.”
According to Butsavage, the free concert raised more than $300, and he was happy with attendance.
“We were up against a few different events going on. I guess Wyatt Turner was playing at the high school, there were a couple other bands playing across the county, and also the West Virginia game — maybe most importantly,” joked Butsavage. “But I feel like we had a good turnout, and the music was just amazing.”
Butsavage said there were a lot of people to thank for getting the event going.
“Melody Wallace did our posters, just as a community service — they turned out great. David Kershner and myself put them up all around — I owe a big thanks to him, he helped out a lot organizing the music too. A big thanks to all the musicians, the Opera House, and the AmeriCorps workers, Courtney [Gillilan] and Abby [Kendall], who came and helped at the door.”
“Gibbs came up with this idea, and we both thought it was a really good idea,” said Butsavage. “It's something the VISTAs wanted to do for the community, to kind of give back, I mean, that's our whole purpose — to help out in the community. We just really wanted to show our appreciation.”