Looking for a fun way to give back in 2016?
The Venue on Broad will hold its annual fundraiser for Food for the Soul Saturday night.
The show features several popular and talented area rock bands and musicians – and all it will cost is a can of food.
The event, now in its eighth year, will feature local bands Blyss and the Rusty Davis Group and solo performers Jim Hayes and Danny Robinson. Longtime favorite rock band Hoonose will headline the evening.
Saturday’s free charity show will begin around 8 p.m. with guests only being asked to bring canned goods, non-perishable items, winter coats, jackets or sweaters, all of which will be turned over to Food for the Soul.
Hoonose had a strong following in and around the Midlands in the late 1980s and headlined shows at some of the Palmetto State’s hottest nightclubs. The four-man group is made up of Danny Massalon on bass, Leo Price on guitar, John Miranda on sax and flute and Larry Kelly on drums. Hoonose plays a mix of rock classics delving into groups ranging from the Allman Brothers to Jethro Tull to The Pretenders.
All the musicians are not only well regarded and very talented but are glad to give back to the community, noted event organizers.
Johnny Watson, a professional sound engineer and sound operator for some of the biggest acts and events throughout the world (including the 2009 U.S. Presidential Inauguration), has been a part of the annual holiday show in Camden and said it is one which he and many other local residents look forward to all year long.
"We’ve always had a good response for this show," Watson said. ""We just appreciate everyone donating their time, energy, and talent and we appreciate the response from the community. It’s all about helping out folks who need a helping hand, especially around this time of year."
Venue on Broad Owner Philip Brown noted that the event has grown every year, both in attendance and in donations collected and said he is pleased to be able to be a part of it.
"Even if you can’t come out Saturday night, we’re happy to take donations any time," Brown said. "We appreciate everyone’s help. But if you can, come on out – it’s going to be a fun event."
Darlene Thomas, Food for the Soul’s Executive Director, said this event was a totally unlooked for and wonderful surprise on her part.
"I’m new around here, so I wasn’t aware that this had been going on for all this time," she said. "When I found out, I was very impressed – it’s awesome and so appreciated. I’m really looking forward to it and hope everyone can come out and enjoy it – it will be a great time for a great cause!"
Having served its first meal on Sept. 9, 2009, Food for the Soul serves free, home-cooked meals four days a week to anyone in need. Two years later, the group was brought under the Kershaw County United Way umbrella. In 2012, the organization served more than 17,000 free lunches.
Food for the Soul has expanded its role in the community since that first lunch was served more than four years ago. Since then, the organization has operated an emergency shelter for the homeless whenever temperatures are predicted to be 36 degrees of lower. Food for the Soul provides men and women’s showers as well as the use of washing machines.
"We just couldn’t do what we do without the help of this wonderful community," Thomas said. "We really appreciate the community’s strong support."