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Hurricane Katrina: Kitsap Mall hosting benefit concert

To raise money for those devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Freddy Pink and the Eastside will be pumping out rhythm and blues tunes on Saturday, Sept. 17 in Kitsap Mall’s north parking lot.

Ear Candy, a classic rock band; Fiery Groove, an alternative reggae group; and Mercurious which plays classic rhythm and blues also are scheduled to perform at the benefit dubbed Operation: Southern Comfort Benefit Concert and Dance. The family friendly event will be from 5-10 p.m. and admission will be in the form of donations, large or small, whatever can be contributed will help.

“Anything we can do to help raise funds for the people is a good thing,” said Stacey Ames, Kitsap Mall spokeswoman. “So many people are affected by this, it’s just so devastating.”

Volunteers from the American Red Cross will be collecting tax-deductible donations for the disaster relief fund.

“I would love to see us raise $10,000, I think that’s achievable,” Ames said. “It’s whatever people can bring, but hopefully we’ll have a lot of people show up.”

Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs. A minimum number of sports blankets will be available for an additional donation.

It was Gordon Yancey, the front man of Freddy Pink, who contacted Kitsap Mall.

“Freddy called us, he had done a similar concert in Port Townsend for the tsunami,” Ames said.

There are several more concerts planned for area malls, including Cascade Mall in Burlington and Redmond Town Center.

“No one is turning us down, we’ll take this on the road until we lose attendance,” Yancey said.

All bands are donating their time and talent for the event and sound and lighting are being donated by local companies.

“The Triamp group out of Seattle is brining out its concert and lighting system,” Yancey said.

He adds that the band has been together collectively about 29 years and seems to change shape every two years. Some of the band members have played with several well known musicians including Tina Turner and Earth Wind and Fire.

“We’re very proud to do this in our own backyard,” he said, adding that many band members are from Kitsap.

“The outpouring from residents of the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas has been incredible,” Yancey said. “This event came together very fast. The enthusiastic support we have witnessed thus far has been heartwarming if not simply amazing, and in my opinion is indicative of the caring hearts in the communities on the west side of Puget Sound.”

Sponsors, however, are still being sought to cover transportation and incidentals for the event.

“We hope people will come out and help us support it, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Ames said.

There also is going to be a silent auction set up at www.operationsoutherncomfort.com. The band is looking for items from local businesses that can be bid on in the silent auction.

For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities call Ames at (360) 698-2555.

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