Jimmy Jack Foundation to host Branson concert fundraiser | Entertainment


Close to 50 vocalists and musicians from across the nation will be spending the later part of this week in Branson as they participate in the Jimmy Jack Foundation Concert Christmas for Kids Fundraiser.

The four day concert fundraiser will be held from Thursday, Dec. 8 to Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Stone Castle Resort in Branson. Jimmy Jack Foundation CEO and Founder Jimmy Jack Whitaker said for this event all of the performers and those who come to spectate are asked to make a donation of $40, which gives them access to the event for the entire weekend. 

“We’re not a membership organization, but we’re kind of like a bunch of cousins that get together,” Whitaker said. “We just get together and do a concert every year. Now this is our fourth one. Everybody gets up and sings a song or two. Each night, I have anywhere between two and four special guests that get up and do 20 minutes of 30 minutes. We’ve been blessed. We’re faith based, but we’re not a gospel concert. We do a lot of gospel music, but we also do other things within reason.”

On Thursday and Friday, the concert will begin at 6 p.m., while on Saturday music will run from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and after a small break begin again at 6:30 p.m. And finally on Sunday, the festivities for the final day will begin at 10 a.m. 

“They gave us an extra night at the hotel. They called and asked if we wanted it and I said yeah,” Whitaker said. “So we’ll do a rock night on Thursday night. We have a couple bands come in. We have between 10 and 12 artists come in and do a song or two. We have a blast.”

For the rest of the concert days, Whitaker said they’ll feature a combination of artists who either perform professionally or just for fun.

“We half of the people that get up just do a song or two, but could carry a whole show. It’s not just stuck on one genre,” Whitaker said. “This is the most giving people I’ve ever been around in my life. We all donate $40 a piece, including myself to be able to get up and sing for the foundation fundraiser. We just decided to start doing it. We got people waiting to get in on it. I try to get everybody in I can, but it’s not about the music it’s about raising money to help kids.”

The money raised during the concert weekend will go toward a couple of different things, prominently scholarships for students.

“We had our third kid graduate from college this year. He’s going to be there from Chicago. He’s from Chicago and Kentucky,” Whitaker said. “He came out of a really rough situation. He graduated college this year. We paid his way through college and he’s our third one. We’ve got four every year we pay for. We’ve got two more graduating next year.”

On top of the large scale scholarship gifts the foundation presents, one of the main focuses of the non-profit is the donation of instruments to children. 

“People donate to us. Some people from Minnesota donated $5,000 worth of instruments. I’m picking up more in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend,” Whitaker said. “We’ve got them all over the place. People will just donate one guitar, clarinet or a horn. We’ve just been blessed. I can’t explain it.”

As a part of the weekend of festivities, Saturday evening will feature the presentation of instruments to several kids.

“Nothing is neater than seeing these kids walk across the stage and get an instrument knowing that most of them can’t afford to ever get one. And we give them nice stuff,” Whitaker said. “We’ve got a lot of equipment we give away on Saturday night to the kids. We’ve got them coming from South Dakota and we’ve got them coming from Illinois. We’ve got kids coming from Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri of course. We’ve got them coming from all over to donate to. Even Montana. They come in, they do a program and most of them don’t even know they’re getting instruments.”

The line-up of entertainment for the four-day fundraiser concert will feature, but is not limited to, the talents of: Randy Plummer, Dan Duncan Second Generation, Kathy Pearman & Mike McAdoo, Fildio, Heart to Heart, Anita French-Kidd Stahl, Ozark Nelson, Vicki Sue Paxton, Bronc Adams, Donna Kilmurray, Doc Phillips, Mark Aldred, Sonshine Road, Phil Holcomb, Larry & Judy Hartman, Denny & Randie Bowen, Billy & Donna Hale, Gail Coburn, In His Name, Laura Nathy, Kay Wiggins & Melissa, Wendell Johnson, Bruno Samuels, Cyndi Helms, Leonard & Marina Pohl, Ron & Haven Howard, Eleeya Grace, Dave Laurence, Mickie Sappington, Steve McAllister, Lois Chalmers, Floyd Crane, Karen Stoker, Jerry Lashley, Randy Nicholson, Master Peace, Tracy Deskin, Bill & Darlene Beall, Debbie Guthrie, Rick & Lee Larsen, Carolyn Rowden, Nikki Skaggs and Kete Evans. 

In addition to the live music, there will also be a raffle drawing for several items donated to the fundraiser.

“This year we had a brand new 12 string Yamaha Guitar with a hard shell case donated to us and it’s going to be the center piece,” Whitaker said. “We have a $5 table where we sell tickets to draw for that and about 30 other neat items.”       

For additional info email jjw1950@yahoo.com or visit jimmyjackfoundation.org.

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