News Column

Concerts for charity

August 7, 2014

By Rowynn Ricks, The Woodward News, Okla.



Aug. 07--Scott Helmer is a musician on a mission.

The rock guitarist is currently in the middle of a year-long tour across America in which he is seeking to help raise over $1 million for around 200 different charities, one concert at a time. He is calling it his "Support YOUR Cause" Tour.

Helmer's tour will be making a stop in Woodward this Friday for a concert to benefit the Woodward Arts Theatre. The concert, which is being held at the historic theatre, will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will also feature local vocalist Bobbi Castor.

Helmer developed the idea for the charity tour after experiencing some personal struggles that helped him to reshape his life.

"I did music until my early 20s or so and then, as they say, I went out to get a 'real job.' I was in the corporate world for about a decade. But then when the market crashed in '08, I made some bad decisions and kind of lost everything," he said. "So when I was coming out of that I said, 'boy, going forward my life needs to be about different things.' And that is creating music, performing music and helping others."

Through his Support YOUR Cause Tour, he is able to combine all 3 of those life goals by using his music to help others.

Originally, Helmer thought to help one charity in particular.

"I was listening to talk radio one night, 'Coast to Coast AM with George Noory,' and there was this guy on there from the Wounded Warriors Project and he was talking about what they did, how they helped vets who were returning and their families. And I thought, 'if I'm going to do a tour for charity, that would be a great charity to do it for,'" he said.

So the musician put out the word about his plans to hold concerts to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project and soon began learning about other valuable charities needing help.

"As soon as I put the word out, I go so many contacts from other charities and people saying 'you should help these guys out too,' or 'help this cause,'" Helmer said.

Seeing an opportunity to help so many, he said he couldn't say no.

"I said, 'you know what I'll put a tour together to help them all raise $1 million together,'" he said. "So I put out a press release saying that I would provide entertainment for a fundraiser event as long as the group had a goal to raise at least $5,000, I would come donate my time to play at their event."

Helmer said it wasn't long before he was contacted by a wide variety of charitable organizations and other non-profits, including a couple of historic theatres.

Knowing that "a lot of historic theatres are non-profits and they rely on donations and support from the community to survive," Helmer said he was eager to help as many as he could.

"We put the word out that theatres could sign up as well and we were inundated; I think we got over 70 historic theatres across America that are participating in the tour right now including yours in Woodward," he said.

Helmer said he is "thrilled" to help these cultural institutions as he knows from personal experience how "they are important to have."

"I have so many good memories of being a child in my hometown and going with my grandparents to see a live performance or a movie at our local theatre," he said.

In addition to helping the Woodward Arts Theatre, other historic theatres and so many more charities raise much-needed funds, Helmer said he hopes his charity tour will serve as an inspiration to others to give back in their own communities.

"At the end of the year, after performing these 200 or so concerts, I hope that we will have not only increased awareness of all of these causes, but I also hope that it inspires other people to do similar things," Helmer said. "I hope people see me and think, 'if this guy can do this, what can we do?'"

While he describes his music as primarily rock-n-roll, Helmer said the acoustic nature of his concert gives the music "a bit of a country feel." He said his set will feature some covers of some popular classic rock standards "going all the way back to the 50s until now" as well as original songs from his current record.

Overall, he said his concert is "really upbeat and hopefully it will get people up and dancing and clapping their hands."

For tickets for Helmer's concert this Friday, contact the Woodward Arts Theatre box office at (580) 256-7120. Proceeds from the local concert will help support auditorium renovations at the Arts Theatre.

For more information about Scott Helmer, his music and his ongoing tour, visit his website at www.scotthelmer.com.

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(c)2014 The Woodward News (Woodward, Okla.)

Visit The Woodward News (Woodward, Okla.) at woodwardnews.net

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Source: Woodward News, The (OK)


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