News Column

Music helping to heal

May 10, 2014

By Josh Vardaman, Ottumwa Courier, Iowa

May 10--OTTUMWA -- Music is one of the best ways to bring people together to support members of the community who are going through a tough time.

Friday evening at the Bridge View Center, country music performers Mitch Goudy, Diana Upton-Hill and special guests Redhead Express put on a benefit concert for Chase Stooksbury, a 6-year-old from Ottumwa who is battling cancer.

Bridge View Center Executive Director Larry Gawronski said they held a benefit concert for Chase on April 5, and the crowd wasn't as big as they were hoping, so they decided to do another benefit show. Plus, Gawronski said, Chase seemed to have a lot of fun at the first concert, and he knew he had to try to do another show.

"I was so touched by how much fun he had [at the first concert]," Gawronski said.

Redhead Express, who traveled all the way from their home in Nashville, Tennessee, summed up the night in the middle of two of their songs:

"This is all about Chase," lead singer Kendra Walker said.

Goudy, Upton-Hill and Redhead Express all donated the money they would usually get paid to play the show to the fundraiser for Chase and his family. There were also donation buckets that circled the audience during the show, and Champions for Chase T-shirts were available for purchase.

Before the music started, there was a special eat and greet in the Bridge View Center's lobby. Guests brought a lot of food, and the band members and Chase went around the crowd and shared some laughs and greetings.

The night was sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, Cargill Meat Solutions and Hy-Vee Ottumwa North and South.

-- To see reporter Josh Vardaman'sTwitter feed, go to @CourierJosh


(c)2014 the Ottumwa Courier (Ottumwa, Iowa)

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Source: Ottumwa Courier (IA)

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