Branson to host Benefit for Joplin

I’m constantly amazed at the spirit of the American people.

Faced with a winter and spring filled with unrest and wars throughout the world, an uncertain economy and rising gas prices, oil spills in the gulf, nature storming through the land and pounding them with everything from ice to floods to fires to tornadoes, our fellow Americans have shown themselves to be resilient, strong, tender, caring, hardy, charitable, and on and on.

Here in Branson, because we see so many visitors from all over the country, we’re keenly aware of what’s happening to our friends. We watch with admiration the way our “folks” (we prefer that term to tourist) handle life’s ups and downs.  Sometimes those ups and downs hit even closer.

On Sunday, May 22, our close neighbor, Joplin, Missouri, was hit with a devastating EF5 tornado.  Joplin is just about two hours or so west of us.  We not only have many folks from there that visit us but we’ve got family there.  The Branson community has reached out in many ways, including sending emergency crews and supplies and volunteers there.  On Sunday, June 26, we’re going to reach out, in a way that Branson is uniquely suited to do, with a Joplin Benefit Concert and Live Telethon.

More than 26 Branson shows will provide more than three hours (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) of entertainment and appearances live from the Mansion Theatre in Branson.  Visit JoplinBenefit.com for a list of performers and celebrities. The concert tickets are on sale now at JoplinBenefit.com and also via the phone at 1-866-707-4100.  Along with the concert, there is a Silent Auction and (for an additional donation) a VIP meet-and-greet after the show.

It will be on television, the radio, and the Internet. If you can’t attend the show, watch it and donate.  Check JoplinBenefit.com for where is will be airing in your neck of the woods. We know RFD-TV will be airing it, as well as access channels on Mediacom, and various local stations in Springfield, Joplin, Wichita, Kan., and other places.  More are being added each day.

The proceeds will go to St. John’s Regional Medical Center/Joplin (Mercy Health Systems) and the Joplin Schools’ musical program.  Right now, we’re gathering up instruments to replace the 100s of thousands of dollars worth of instruments destroyed in the tornado.

If you’ve got an instrument to spare, check out the list on JoplinBenefit.com for what is needed.  We’re also raising money to help St. John’s operate through the rebuilding process.  They’ve got more than 2,200 employees they have committed to keeping employed indefinitely.  That’s a lot for a non-profit and it’s also a lot of families and services with a BIG effect on the Joplin … and Branson … and Missouri economy.  So if you’ve got a dollar to spare, please donate it for Joplin at JoplinBenefit.com.

Written by Cindy Merry of Cindy Merry Marketing, Reeds Spring.