United Way adds new fundraiser in effort to meet yearly goal

Callaway United Way officials are hoping a new event aimed at area youth will help boost lagging efforts to meet this year’s fundraising goals.

Fulton native Chris Branch said he came up with the idea for Concert for Callaway because he wanted to find a way to give back to his community and he knew helping the United Way would be a good way to do so.

“I wanted to find a way to use my music to give back, and I know they fund a lot of organizations,” said Branch, an R&B singer who performs as Chris Corvino.

The event, to be held April 9 in Champ Auditorium on the Westminster College campus, will feature seven acts — including Without Witness, Stevie Keyz, Lavish, A-Game, DUB_G and Judge that Branch said should appeal to a younger audience.

“It’ll be a mix between R&B and hip hop, and we have one rock group,” Branch said. “They’ve all been really good to donate their time for the cause for free, so all the money can go to benefit the community.”

Branch said he himself is excited to sing some of the songs from his upcoming album to be released through Universal Records.

“I’m looking forward to performing those songs; letting everybody hear my music for the first time,” he said.

Because all the performers and host Steve Mallinckrodt are donating their time and Westminster College has allowed the group to use the venue at no cost, Branch said tickets to the event will be only $5 in advance and $6 at the door.

“If we can get 1,000 people to show up, that’s $5,000,” he said, adding he hopes area young people will attend.

“It’s an event that’s going to be a night of good music, and it’s a way to help a good cause — those organizations (supported by the United Way) need the funding to operate.

“If you care about your community, I encourage you to come out, whether you like the music or not.”

Doors open for the concert on the 9th at 7 p.m., with the performances starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at The Callaway Bank, the Westminster Student Life Office and at William Woods University.

In addition to the concert, Callaway County United Way also is preparing for its annual Celebrity Waiter Banquet starting at 6 p.m. on April 8 at Sir Winston’s banquet room.

Table themes this year include Hallmark character Maxene, Fred and Wilma Flinstone, Excalibur, ER, Paula Deen, Phantom of the Opera, M*ASH, True Blood and Lily Tomlin.

Callaway United Way Executive Director Kathy Richey Liddle said the banquet is especially important this year, as the organization still is shy of meeting its annual fundraising goal.

“We’re still about $16,000 short of our goal, so between these two events we’re hoping to get closer,” Liddle said.

She went even further in a United Way press release, noting, “These fundraisers are vital to the work of the Callaway County United Way. ... If we don’t make goal, it could mean having to cut the funding we’ve promised to our member agencies during 2011.”

Tickets for the Celebrity Waiter Banquet are $25 and are available by calling (573) 642-0536.

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