Archive for Thursday, August 20, 2009

Benefit concert will be Saturday in CPA Park

August 20, 2009

Rockin’ for the Wildside, a benefit concert Saturday in CPA Park, will raise money for the causes of two area organizations.

Operation WildLife, which helps wounded wild animals; and the Downtown Eudora Business Association, which between losing members and the lagging economy is somewhat injured in its own right.

The concert will feature live music at 2:30 p.m. from at least five bands, including Eudora’s own Dora Dank. Other bands that have been booked include Malevolent, Ear Deep and Hidemans Way.

The event will feature local vendors, including Cutter’s Smokehouse and Pyle Meat. There also will be a beer garden from 4 to 10 p.m.

The benefit is the brainchild of Matt and Tina Montgomery, founding members of DEBA and the owners and operators of DC Custom Cycles.

Last fall, they had hoped to have a similar event, but construction in the downtown area caused them to hold off.

They began planning for the event about four months ago.

“We were just kind of waiting for things to settle down as far the construction and be able to get all of our ducks in a row,” Matt Montgomery said.

The idea to donate proceeds to Operation WildLife came after the Linwood-based organization’s director, Diane Johnson, visited the cycle shop to see if a benefit ride could be set up.

The Montgomerys were already involved in other rides for charity, but instead decided to include OWL in the concert.

Johnson was overjoyed when she found out about the event.

“I had to ask twice to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming,” Johnson said.

OWL, which takes in injured animals and attempts to nurse them back to health, has been in existence for about 20 years. They will taken in everything except deer and poisonous animals.

Area residents or state officials bring all of the animals to the center.

It serves nine counties and is staffed by just two paid employees and 125 volunteers.

Depending on the season, it has anywhere from 200 to 500 animals staying at its facility. Johnson said OWL cares for about 4,000 to 5,000 animals per year.

If animals can not be made healthy enough to release into the wild, they are either euthanized or used as educational animals — much like the hawks, owls and or falcons OWL will bring to the event.

It costs about $150,000 per year to keep OWL running, with much of the materials and funding coming via donations.

DEBA also has been going through a rough patch as a result of the recent exodus of businesses from the downtown area.

Tina Montgomery is trying to not let it be the death of the organization that was founded in early 2008.

“I do want to keep DEBA going and I don’t want to give up on it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on down here, businesses still need to work together. The minds of many can do more than just one.”

For more information on Rockin’ for the Wildside, call DC Custom Cycles at (785)-542-1903.

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