On Jan. 20, the home of Roger and Edith Salmons burned to the ground and resulted in a total loss. Now the community is rallying together to host a benefit for the family.
The benefit is a chili supper and dance that will take place at KC Country on Saturday. The chili supper is from 6-8 p.m. with a dance immediately following and lasting until around 1 a.m. The cost of admission is $10 per person and includes all-you-can-eat chili and live music provided by Nashville, Tenn., musicians Daniel Kleindienst and Kacey Smith.
Randy Kleindienst, long-time friend of Roger Salmons, suggested the idea for the benefit when he first heard about the tragic fire. He arranged for the venue and musical entertainment and his wife, Christine, is coordinating the dinner.
Randy said the decision to help out was simple: "We have the resources and a place to do it and they have a need."
The chili is being provided by a local caterer who has never met Roger or Edith and wishes to remain anonymous. Other community members are donating desserts and beverages for the event.
Coordinating an event like this "takes a lot of help from a lot of people," said Randy.
Roger's sister, Teresa Stone, agrees with Randy.
"There has been a lot of support. Lots of family, and friends, and even total strangers," Stone said.
Kacey Smith, singer, songwriter and musician, is one of those strangers. She will be performing with her mentor, Daniel Kleindienst, at the benefit. "Anytime anyone asks me to do anything benefit-wise, I always try to do it," Smith said. "God gave me my talent to sing, and I feel it is my obligation to give back and help any way I can."
Smith is a native of Tennessee but had never traveled out of the state until 2010 when she traveled to Missouri to sing.
The brother of Randy, Daniel Kleindienst grew up next door to Roger Salmons and lived in Callaway County until 1999, when he decided to move to Tennessee to pursue music.
In addition to the dinner and live music, attendees will also have a chance to win a 887 Remington 12 gauge shotgun donated by Carl Adams of Briggs Gun Shop in Fulton. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased at Briggs' Gun Shop or Midwest Tire and Auto.
A Salmons Relief Fund has been set up at Regions Bank in Fulton, in case somebody cannot attend the event but would like to make a monetary donation.
Â In the midst of dealing with insurance companies and plans to rebuild, the family is not losing sight of what is most significant to them.
"God blessed us that day," said Stone, "things can be replaced, but you can't rebuild a brother."