Concert to help fund local school grants | PostIndependent.com

Concert to help fund local school grants

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Roaring Fork Public Education Foundation board president Phil Weir could tell a lot of crazy stories about his days in the night club business with country music legend Willie Nelson in the mid-1970s.

But the main story he’s trying to get out these days is the need for extra funding in the local public schools, and an upcoming concert benefit to raise grant money for Roaring Fork District Re-1 schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

“Having been in the business, I got to thinking it would be cool to have a concert and have the money go to the education foundation,” Weir said of the foundation, which is a private, nonprofit fundraising arm for Re-1 schools.

One of his old acquaintances from those days gone by at the Whiskey River in Dallas happened to be cowboy singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey, who wrote and sang such hits as “Wildfire” and “Cowboy Logic.”

“I had a restaurant called the Pawn Shop, which was right across the parking lot from the Whiskey River, and those guys would come in and have dinner before their show,” Weir said. “I figured we go way back, so I connected with Michael Martin Murphey on Facebook and asked if he’d be willing to do a concert for us.”

Murphey agreed, and the benefit concert became reality. He’ll be playing an acoustic concert starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Jeannie Miller Theatre at Glenwood Springs High School. Tickets are $50, and proceeds will go to the foundation to help fund technology in schools grants this coming year.

Weir said it remains to be seen how successful the foundation’s first-ever concert benefit will be, but he’s optimistic.

“Ticket sales are fair, but a lot of people wait until the last minute,” Weir said. “If we sold out all 500 seats, that would cover our expenses and make over $20,000 for the foundation.”

With the help of several sponsors, including Valley View Hospital, SourceGas, Glenwood Springs Ford, U.S. Bank and Weir and his wife, Patty, the foundation was able to cover the upfront $7,500 fee to book the concert.

Weir believes the concert has a good potential to raise money for the foundation. The other primary fundraiser for the foundation is its annual kids carnival that happens each September, which offers a variety of inflatable games and attractions.

Aided by good weather, that event raised $20,000 last year, compared to about $8,000 in its inaugural year, he said.

Combined with private donations, the foundation awarded some $30,000 in technology grants to local public schools last fall.

“The foundation used to do a golf tournament, but that ends up catering to a certain group of people,” Weir said. “We wanted to open things up and try to attract a broader audience, which I believe a concert will do.”

Doors for the concert open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in person at the Re-1 school district office, or by reservation by calling 384-6000 or 948-5522, or by email at info@rfpef.org.

More information about the concert and the Roaring Fork Public Education Foundation can be found at http://www.rfpef.org.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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