Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Another blowout concert by Charlie Daniels and Friends to benefit Christmas4Kids

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Couple of extra surprises set during performance

By BEVERLY HERBERTSpecial to The Wilson Post

The Charlie Daniels and Friends Concert, to benefit Christmas4Kids, is set to shake the hallowed walls of the Ryman on Monday, Nov. 23. 

Every year, Charlie Daniels, along with his own amazing talents, brings to the stage a variety of gifted and exciting entertainers; and of course, this year is no exception with the booking of Phil Vassar, Wilson County’s Gretchen Wilson and Chris Young.  But, this year, Charlie had a few surprises up his sleeve – namely The Grascals and Brad Arnold of the group 3 Doors Down.

The Grascals – Terry Eldredge and Jamie Johnson on guitar, Terry Smith on bass, Danny Roberts on mandolin, Kristin Scott Benson on banjo and Jeremy Abshire on fiddle – have already made a name for themselves as one of the premier contemporary bluegrass groups. They were also asked by Charlie Daniels to add a little extra Christmas cheer to his new Christmas CD/DVD, “Joy to the World.”

Those attending the concert will have the opportunity to bid on a historic heirloom guitar, The Gretsch G6120 donated by the very generous Gretsch Foundation.

Originally designed for Chet Atkins, the modern day Gretsch G6120 has gradually evolved from its 1954 predecessor, but remains one of the most sought after guitars by popular musicians of our time, an organizer said.

It is described as a laminated maple body, three-piece rock maple neck, ebony-stained rosewood fingerboard, block position markers, dual FilterTron pickups, 24-karat gold-plated hardware and Gretsch Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. 

Without the commitment and dedication of Christmas4Kids’ Corporate Sponsors, their ability to continue to grow and thrive would not be possible. The Priceless Partners are: Jayson Promotions, 95.5 The Wolf, Webster & Associates Public Relations, Curds and Whey Web Services, The Gretsch Foundation, CDL Media Works, Sledge Productions, University Medical Center of Lebanon, Wayne Detring-Attorney at Law, and Moo TV; Golden Sled Level (Top Level $10,000 +): Bob Parks Realty (Sumner County Office) and Prevost (bus shell manufacturer);  Santa’s Workshop Level: NASTC- David Owen; Rudolph Level: W.E. Shaw & Associates, LLC, Walmart, Cedar Crest Golf Club, Pine Creek Golf Course, Five Oaks Golf Club, both in Lebanon; Robo-Pong, Windtree Golf Club in Mt. Juliet and Lochivar in Lebanon; Jingle Bell Level: Rotary Club of Hendersonville, Purity Dairies, Churchill Mortgage and Marathon Oil; Sugar Plum Level: Regions Bank, Hendersonville Medical Center, The Oakley Group of SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., Tabor Dental Associates, and SunTrust Bank.

Organizers noted there is a special contributor to the Christmas4Kids’ effort from Wilson County who deserves to be recognized. Mike Slarve, owner of Four Seasons Bus Company has worked with the C4K group, along with many other bus companies, to provide buses for the Tour Bus Show, as well as, the unique and exciting transportation the children get to enjoy on their day of shopping.

Slarve got an idea about three years ago to add another element to his contribution to the kids. He was at a garage sale and saw a large box of “lightly loved” teddy bears. They were very inexpensive and he said he imagined that at one time they had been the special friends of children who were grown now and off to college or making families of their own. He thought, “This would be a great thing to donate to the Christmas4Kids children, then they will have a toy they don’t actually have to spend their gift money on, and it will recycle these toys to be loved by a whole new generation of children.”

Deciding to give bears to all the children would mean attending a lot of yard sales. So what began as a simple box of bears turned into a quest for 400 bears. Amazingly, he has succeeded every year in finding them, and this year will be no exception. In addition, Four Seasons Bus Company provides all the buses for the Wilson County schools that are part of the C4K program. This includes 12 buses, as well as, 40 volunteer chaperones and more than 60 children, who will be joining the rest of the children for their big day.

A California native, Slarve saw Lebanon as a city of opportunity for himself, his family and his company. A friend of his had moved there and was singing its praises. Slarve said he asked him how much the cost of living was and he was astounded to realize that a move to Middle Tennessee would mean each of his eight employees could actually own their own home. He pitched the idea to his staff and by the next morning each one of them had said yes. That was 12 years ago, and Slarve’s commitment to his company and his community continues to grow.

Slarve said that he collects these bears all year long and anyone who would like to donate their gently-used bears can drop them off at Four Seasons Bus Company, 211 Babb Drive, Lebanon, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (The company is across the street from the UMC Emergency Room).

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