'Benefit for Black Forest' to aid fire victims. Final bands announced, more children's activities planned

Special to Tribune
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One of the largest fundraisers planned so far has added more bands, more children's activities and more sponsors. The fundraiser dubbed "The Benefit for Black Forest – Music in the Forest, For the Forest," is the brainchild of Jeff Smith, President of the Black Rose Acoustic Society.

 "When I saw the devastation from the worst forest fire in Colorado history, I knew right way I had to do something," said Smith. "I quickly realized we should do what Black Rose does best – bring musicians together for benefit-concert fundraiser."

 Smith called an emergency meeting of the BRAS Board of Directors soon after the fire was out, and now, a few weeks later, Black Rose has assembled an exceptionally diverse group of talented artists from around the country for a one-day music festival at Wonderland Ranch. In fact, Smith had so much support from musicians, he had to add a second stage to fit them all in.

 Million-seller Cajun-country music legend Doug Kershaw will headline the festival, which starts at 11 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m., on Saturday, August 24. Kershaw's performance starts at approximately 5:30.

 The BRAS Board of Directors turned to Haley Chapin of Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC) to make sure the proceeds get to Black Forest Residents who lost everything in the devastating fire.

 "Tri-Lakes Cares is a 501(c)(3) that has been helping people in northern El Paso County for nearly 30 years," said Chapin. "We were absolutely thrilled when Black Rose contacted us that they wanted to raise money to provide assistance to the fire victims."

 Smith said the fundraiser will have a "music festival" atmosphere. "There will be non-stop, top-notch music, children's activities, a "bounce house," a petting zoo, food and beverages, volleyball, horseshoes, lots of picnic tables, and more."Smith encourages people to bring lawn chairs and blankets, but leave pets at home. No outside food or alcohol.

 Advance tickets are $20 on-line at www.blackroseacoustic.org, or $25 at the gate. Black Forest residents who lost their homes, firefighters and children 12 and under are free. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the music starts at 11.

 All proceeds go to charity.

 The Wonderland Ranch is located on the corner of Vollmer and Hodgen in a portion of the Black Forest that wasn't burned.

 In addition to Kershaw, other acts slated to perform are Wendy Woo, Birds of Chicago, Moors & McCumber, Charlie Hall and Big Honk, Gypsy Swing Revue, The Wielands of Mass Destruction, Skean Dubh, The Blue Fenders, The County Line Ramblers, and local bluegrass sensations, Grass It Up!

 For more information, call Carrie Pendergast at 719-481-4864 x110.

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