Two benefit concerts planned for Kerry GilbertPublished 3:27pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Franklin County citizens are no strangers to rallying around their neighbors in need, so it comes as no surprise that the entire community – and surrounding Northwest Alabama area – has rallied around local musician Kerry Gilbert in the wake of his diagnosis of non-Hodgkins follicular lymphoma.
With Gilbert being a full-time musician, he is without health insurance, so immediately the medical bills for hospital stays, treatments and other expenses related to the illness started piling up.
But with so many friends, family members, fellow musicians and fans wanting to support him, it was no time before benefits began popping up across the entire area in an effort to raise money for Gilbert’s treatment.
Numerous benefits in honor of Gilbert have already taken place, but two major benefits are scheduled for this month at one of Gilbert’s favorite places to perform – the historic Roxy Theater in downtown Russellville.
The first benefit will be Sunday, Oct. 13, starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Roxy.
“Roxy’s Rockin’ for Kerry,” sponsored by the Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council, will be an afternoon concert featuring artists Iron Horse, Kellie Hammett, Wildwood Ruminators and ReWind.
Arts council member Hudson Copeland, who has organized this event, said they were overwhelmed with artists wanting to support Gilbert and they were more than glad to accommodate them.
“We had several groups make requests to the arts council to use the Roxy to hold a benefit for Kerry, and the board unanimously granted the request and began immediately organizing the event,” Copeland said.
“Kerry Gilbert has done so much to promote the Roxy through his monthly concerts and in so many other ways that it was an honor for us to show him the same kind of support when he needed it.”
Hudson, who is also a close friend of Gilbert’s, said that every penny will be donated to help with Gilbert’s medical expenses.
“Each band that is coming offered their services at no charge so that Kerry could get the most out of this as possible,” Copeland said.
“We truly appreciate them being so generous and so willing to help one of their fellow artists. It will be a great afternoon of quality entertainment for a more than worthy cause.”
General admission tickets for this event are $10 and can be purchased at the door or beforehand at Abstract and Appraisal on Washington Avenue in Russellville or online at www.historicroxytheatre.com. Support armbands will also be for sale before and the day of the event.
The next chance the community will have to support Gilbert will be at a benefit scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, starting at 9 a.m. at the Roxy.
LaBella Salon & Spa, owned by Teresa Parasiliti and Russellville native Jessica Vincent, has organized this event, which was originally planned to be held at the A.W. Todd Centre but was moved due to the number of artists wishing to perform.
The benefit will be an all-day affair and will feature artists from across the area, some of which include Ashley Cummins, Brooklyn Hall, Kody Madden, Blaze Bishop, The Konigs, Dustin Hargett, Will Stults, Tim Cannon, Blaine Cantrell, John Croslin, Big Joe and the Catfish Junkies, Morris Lento, Justin Miller, Josh Keenum and friends, Wendell Franks Band, Max Russell, Joseph Baldwin, Zac and Angela Hacker, Gary Nichols, James LeBlanc and KGB and friends.
Artists will be playing inside the Roxy Theater for the duration of the day with the headline acts starting at 6 p.m.
“At the time we started planning the event, no one was planning any type of benefit in our area, so we decided that was what we would do,” Vincent said. “We thought that it would just be something that would start out small, but in just a few days we have had an overwhelming response.
“There were so many entertainers who wanted to help that we had to move the event to the Roxy, and it just kept growing until we decided we would need to start the event early to accommodate all the entertainment.
“It’s overwhelming the amount of support this benefit has gotten in such a short time, but really that’s just a testament to the person Kerry is and how many people love him and think a lot of him.”
In addition to all the musical entertainment, Vincent said this event will also feature a silent auction, concessions, and a Kids Zone featuring face painting, hair extensions and a place to write get-well cards for Gilbert.
Tickets for this event are $10 and can be purchased at LaBella Salon & Spa located at 1406 N. Pine Street, Florence, AL 35630.
Those interested in tickets who cannot purchase them in person can also purchase tickets over the phone by calling 256-765-2042 and asking for Jessica or BriAnna.
Copeland said he hoped both events would be successful and well-attended by the community.
“These will both be great events for Kerry and great opportunities for the community to support him the way he has always supported this area.”