If we're known for a few things in Green Country, one of them is taking care of our own. Whenever tragedy strikes, the community repeatedly steps up to help others in need. Whether it's a matter of providing a helping hand, food and clothing or a measure of financial support when we're able, the people in Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma always seem to step up to the plate when times are tough for others.
Back in August, wildfires devastated the Mannford area, destroying homes and leaving many people in need. Although many have already stepped up to provide help, the effects of that tragedy are ongoing. This weekend, 1320 Bar and Grill, 606 S. Elgin Ave., steps up with a three-night benefit concert to help the victims of the wildfires try to get back to normal.
When discussing the event with Jason Koss of 1320 Bar & Grill, he shared that 1320 had originally planned on doing a one-night event to benefit the wildfire victims. Through a twist of events, he came in contact with another group which was already planning the Out of the Ashes benefit, but needed a new venue, and the two ended up joining together for what has become a three-night event.
As Koss explained it: "One day turned into three days, and all proceeds will go to the families of the wildfire victims. A lot of people didn't have insurance on their homes, so part of the money will go to that and some will go to the volunteer firefighters."
When looking at the website for the benefit, outoftheashesok.com, 60 percent of the proceeds are earmarked for families and victims of the wildfires with 30 percent going to volunteer firefighters and the final 10 percent earmarked for animal rescue organizations. As such, you can rest assured that 100 percent of the proceeds are being directed to victims of the fires in one way or another.
The event opens Friday night, October 19, with music beginning at 5:45pm. Friday has a distinctly heavier rock theme with local bands Sarah D & the Damned Souls, Tiranico, Searching for Sanity and Firstryke leading off the evening before headliners Early Morning High Band and Rich O'Toole wrap up the night by taking things in a more Southern rock direction.
Day two kicks off at 11am on Saturday with Jimmy Blythe taking the stage at 11:30am to start the music. Nine bands perform throughout the day, including Shannon Sharpe Band at 7pm and Silver Lining Band at 8:15pm. The evening's headliners include Jason Savory at 9:30pm and a special appearance by Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition at 10:45pm to wrap up the evening.
Sunday wraps up the weekend and kicks off at 12:45pm with Kristin Nicole Band as the day brings a half dozen artists to the stage including Heath Wright (lead singer of Ricochet) with a solo set at 3:15pm and Tyler King (with a special guest appearance by Darrel Cole & Transcontinental) at 6:30pm before wrapping up with Thomas Martinez at 8:30pm.
Overall, it's a stacked lineup that covers hard rock, Red Dirt, Southern Rock and country for a full weekend.
When discussing the lineup and event with Koss, he shared that the event was originally planned for September, but they pushed the date out into October when negotiating with some bigger named artists to make appearances. Unfortunately, those bigger named acts didn't end up working out, but a few artists like Rich O'Toole, Jason Savory and Chad Sullins stepped up to provide some weight to the lineup and give it a distinctly Oklahoma signature.
Koss also shard that he had wanted to get a few indie and hippie/jam type acts involved to round out the bill even more, but as the event grew closer time didn't allow him to work it out. Nevertheless, it's a full bill that stretches over three days to make a difference for those affected by the wildfires in August.
One of the bands that stepped up is Chad Sullins & the Last Call Coalition. Already making waves, not only in Oklahoma, but also on the Texas music charts with his latest single "Thank God for Jack Daniels," Sullins and his band aren't new to doing benefit shows.
"I don't think a month goes by that we don't do one or two charitable shows," he said last week. "It's still fun for us to get to play, but when we get to help someone else it's a whole different deal."
As luck would have it, Sullins was actually booked to play in Stillwater for OSU's homecoming weekend, when booked on back-to-back nights created a booking conflict, the band looked for a quick trip to Tulsa to balance the schedule and found an opportunity to not only play in town and at a new venue, but also help a good cause.
"We've already played two firefighter benefits for Mannford," Sullins shared. "One was three weeks after the fire at Grady's in Yukon and the other was at Route 66 in Oklahoma City. At Grady's, the entrance was a case of water or a cash donation with the water delivered to three different fire stations. At the end of the night we had water lined up all down the wall and loaded up two 5'x8' trailers with water to be delivered, so that was pretty cool."
"The one at Route 66 was sponsored by Mustang Brewery and I think it was a $10 entry, with all the proceeds going to the Red Cross and the Firefighters, I believe," he continued. "Any time we not only get to play, but we get to do something that in some way helps others, we're all about it."
Sullins and his band mates aren't just about local causes, either. The month of October is breast cancer awareness month and the band is wearing pink wristbands at each show and earmarking 10 percent of all merchandise sales to go to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and two other organizations. When asked why the band got involved with the breast cancer charities, Sullins shared that "Our lead guitarist lost his mom to cancer, but I think breast cancer has touched everyone in one way or another, whether it has affected a family member or someone you know."
With such an open mind and focus on helping others, it's no wonder that Sullins and his band have stepped up to join this weekend's event for the Mannford victims. Tickets for the event are $18 per night or $45 for the weekend in advance or $20 and $50 at the door. More details about the lineup, the auction on Saturday afternoon and where the proceeds are being earmarked can be found at outoftheashesok.com.
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