This Thursday’s Band of Oz show will mark more than just the return of the popular live After Five Summer Concert Series after a three-month hiatus. It will offer an opportunity for the public to give toward a worthy cause — and organizers are hoping they do just that.
The Alive After Five Committee and its partner organizations, Sampson Arts Council, City of Clinton and the County of Sampson, are bringing back the series this Thursday, Sept. 19, with Band of Oz, beach music legends who will be taking the stage for their eighth appearance in the series’ history.
The show is expected to see a sizable crowd, and Alive After Five Committee members hope that serves to benefit a select group of organizations whose mission is to serve needs in Sampson.
Committee members earlier this year announced a collaboration with three Sampson County nonprofit organizations — the Salemburg Christian Food Bank, Backpack Buddies and the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Coat Closet — they hoped could improve exposure for those worthy groups while raising money for their causes.
“Each organization that was selected serves both adults and children from across Sampson County,” stated Ray Jordan, chairman of the Alive After Five Committee. “These organizations and their members work tirelessly to serve others and every member of the Alive After Five committee is excited and proud to partner with these organizations and support their efforts.”
Backpack Buddies will be the specific partnership for Thursday’s show.
It is a volunteer program that provides food for children at risk for hunger due to financial challenges, specifically as they exist throughout Clinton and Sampson County. Children who receive food assistance during the week at school (breakfast and lunch) are at a much higher risk of hunger on the weekends, which necessitates the need for Backpack Buddies to provide emergency food supplies, group members said.
“Children who are hungry and malnourished are at a disadvantage to learn in the classroom,” Alive After Five Committee member and Backpack Buddies liaison Darrell Jones stated. “We are extremely proud to support the Backpack Buddies Program across Sampson County.”
Children are selected each school year by teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, and school social workers. Some children who do not receive food assistance on weekends, which necessitates the need for the Backpack Buddies program to provide emergency food supplies. These “bags” of food help to sustain children over the weekend or holiday breaks such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, Jones noted.
Backpack Buddies is a 10-month program that operates from September through June. Throughout that period, volunteers gather to pack bags of food to be distributed to children every Friday.
”The Backpack Buddies program depends on volunteers; as well as monetary and food donations from civic organizations, churches, individuals, businesses, and fundraising activities,” Jones stated. “It is with the community’s support and assistance that these needs are met.”
To that end, volunteers from both the Clinton City Schools and Sampson County Schools will be on hand at the Sept. 19 concert to accept donations of non-perishable food items or cash donations. Concert attendees are encouraged to bring three non-perishable food items per person to support the ongoing efforts of the Backpack Buddies programs across Sampson County.
Those wishing to support Backpack Buddies through monetary donations may do so by cash or check. Checks should be written to FUMC. Donors may also earmark their donation for the school district they would like their donation to support including: Clinton, Union, Hobbton, Roseboro/Salemburg or Midway.
Suggested items include: fruit cups; pudding cups; canned pasta (Spaghetti “O’s” with Meatballs, ravioli – 15 ½ oz cans); canned soup (chicken noodle, vegetable beef); Vienna sausages; beanie weenies; juice boxes; granola bars/fruit bars; individual packages of macaroni and cheese cups; instant oatmeal in individual packages; instant grits in individual packages; raisins/Craisins in individual packages; along with other kid-friendly non-perishable items.
Large quantities are appreciated and accepted, organizers said.
For more additional information about the Alive After Five Concert Series and the partnership with the local nonprofits, visit: aliveafterfiveclintonnc.com.
The Band of Oz show is free to the public and will be held from 6-8:45 p.m. at the Clinton City Market on Lisbon Street.Event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and sunscreen. No coolers or pets are allowed.
The 2019 series will close out Thursday, Oct. 17, with Too Much Sylvia.
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Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.