Elks Lodge hosts Lions Club Rock the Park concert

Posted 24 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – The Bad Hands rocks the house as the sun sets.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

ALBION – Nearly 200 people came out to the Rock the Park event put on in a collaboration between the Albion Lions Club and the Elks Lodge. The concert proceeds will be used to benefit rebuilding and renovating Bullard Park in Albion.

Several people dance to The Who Dats.

Albion Lions Club member and event organizer, Ron Albertson, said the club extends their gratitude to everyone that made the event possible. Volunteers worked the event and sold concessions and 50/50 raffle tickets. The Albion Elks Lodge donated proceeds from the beer stand. To further increase earnings, all of the bands for the evening played free of charge.

The nine bands that donated their time and talents included Whiskey Rebellion, Painted Silence, Route 98, Delano Steele, Rock of Love, The Who Dats, The Bad Hands, Terrible Ideas and Zero.

“It shows you what you can do when you get two civic-minded organizations together. You can really pull off something nice and this has gone off without a hitch,” said Albertson.

Jill Albertson added, “We’re hoping that this event spearheads more community involvement in trying to renovate the park through local businesses and individuals.”

The Who Dats are a popular local band that donated their talents with other musicians.

Terrible Ideas treats the crowd to “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon.

Jim Benedetti brought his band, The Bad Hands, back from New Jersey to help with the park-rebuilding fundraiser. Benedetti is a former Waterport resident and heard about the event through his friendship with Ron Albertson.

“I hit my first home run in Bullard Park. Probably my only one to be quite accurate,” he laughed. He wanted to come back and support the town and their attempts to improve the park.

The Bad Hands invited blues musician J.B. Lawson (left) from Georgia and former Albion resident Steven Collichio (far right) from Rockwall, Texas, to come play with them. Pictured between them, John Meola plays bass.

Terrible Ideas featuring lead singer Taylor Whittier played later in the evening. At the end of July, Whittier’s mother, Deborah, passed away due to pancreatic cancer. He also lost his father, Scott Whittier, two years ago when he fell from a roof and had complications during surgery. His entire family has offered extensive support, including his brother Shawn.

“It’s been overwhelming to me because my band mates are like brothers to me,” said Whittier. “They’re always there when I’m down to get me back to the place I need to be and moving forward. They always let me know she’s still around. A lot of people at Community Action have helped me out with getting housing sorted out and things like that. I’ve had a lot of support and it’s very meaningful to me.”

Whittier continued, “My mom was the whole reason that I started singing. She got me into chorus in second grade. I sang ever since. She’s definitely the reason I got into music and kept going all these years. My dad is another reason I got into music and stayed with it. I definitely appreciate both of my parents being there for me and supporting me through everything.”

Taylor Whittier (left) leans against Rodney Staats during an energetic AC/DC number.

The Lions Club estimated that they surpassed their goal of $1,500, though a final total has not been made yet.

Because of the successful turnout, they plan to hold the event again next year and are hoping even more people attend to bolster the proceeds and also to foster a closer community through a fun public event.