Raise Some Cash: Musicians to channel Man in Black for Feed Your Neighbor benefit Dec. 7Written by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight.” —Johnny Cash
Such is the duality and fragile imperfection that defined Johnny Cash as a man and a musical artist — part rebel, part charitable Christian and both parts sincere.
A group of Toledo area musicians have honored that same spirit in recent years, playing songs by the Man in Black and raising money for a cause while they’re at it.
Raise Some Cash is once again ready to rock the stage at the Village Idiot, 309 Conant St. in Maumee, from 2-8 p.m. Dec. 7.
Proceeds from the event benefit Augsburg Lutheran Church’s food pantry, which is part of the Feed Your Neighbor network of Toledo food pantries.
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This year’s lineup of performers includes Old State Line, Kentucky Chrome, Dave Carpenter, Minglewood Labor Camp, The Thirsty Hooligans and Locoweed, as well as visual artists Streetspun Yarnbombing and paperDENIMart.
The event is open to all, and children are welcome to attend with parents. A donation of $5 is suggested, and charity items will be available for purchase and raffle.
This is “Volume 5” of Raise Some Cash, which has been held on a “not quite annual” basis over the past seven years, according to founder Larry Meyer.
Meyer, who is also the drummer for Old State Line, attends church at Augsburg. He explained that the event first came together after members of the congregation expressed a need for funds and food items.
Meyer said he and a friend, John Rockwood, had worked on some fundraising events together before. When the pantry reached out and said they needed help, Meyer recognized his ability to contribute something through music and stepped up.
“I had the idea for a fundraiser, and it all just sort of clicked with the Cash name, giving it sort of a snappy title,” Meyer said.
“I stood up in front of the congregation weeks later and said, ‘Here’s what I’m willing to do. If you’re looking for a fundraiser in the church basement with some gospel singing, I’m not the guy, but this is what I can do for you,’ and they were very supportive.”
The first few events were held Downtown at The Blarney Irish Pub, and it was later moved to the Village Idiot to provide a larger stage and a house PA system.
The pantry at Augsburg serves Toledo’s 43612 ZIP code, operating in conjunction with Feed Your Neighbor, a program of Toledo Area Ministries.
Donnajean Stockmaster, community connections director at Toledo Area Ministriesand director for Feed Your Neighbor, said the group’s mission is to make Toledo a better place to live by working with congregations to meet human needs, create community and work for justice.
Feed Your Neighborworks with pantries in 12 Toledo ZIP codes, as well as one in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. The pantries supply three-day rations of food to those who come seeking help. Stockmaster said all the pantries are managed by volunteers.
“That is another way to create community, having neighbors help others in their community,” she said. “It’s an easy way for the public to come in and bring a couple bags of food, donate $5 and just kind of hang around, laugh and have some pizza, and listen to some top-notch music. It’s just a really enjoyable time. And Johnny Cash? Who better?”
Lance Neil Hulsey of Kentucky Chrome has played all five events.
“Cash’s music has an inherent quality that makes it timeless,” he said. “Cash had the ability to reel me in and sometimes make the Earth stop spinning momentarily. Very few artists have this effect on me.”
Hulsey said he appreciates being able to raise funds for a good cause.
“It is very easy to become consumed in your personal problems, forgetting about those who have problems worse than your own, like not having enough food,” he said. “I feel that using a gift that I’ve been given to, in turn, give a gift to someone else is a beautiful thing.”
This is Dave Carpenter’s first year playing Raise Some Cash, but the longtime Toledo musician and co-founder of Acoustics for Autism is no stranger to charity or Johnny Cash.
“I think the camaraderie among musicians is the big draw — hanging out with other players. It’s fun, and we’re raising money for a good cause, too. … [Cash] is very cross-generational. You’ve got people that maybe aren’t country fans, but still like Johnny Cash.”
Meyer acknowledged that the duality of Johnny Cash is one of the things that makes him appealing, providing the perfect inspiration to play raucous Americana and roots rock music while focusing on philanthropy.
“This is the same guy that could sing a song like ‘Cocaine Blues,’” Meyer said. “But if you know anything about his history, you know he never claimed to be perfect and was a devout Christian.”
Meyer said the “cold, hard cash” raised by the event allows them to stock the Augsburg pantry and lessen the burden on Feed Your Neighbor.
Tags: Dave Carpenter, Donnajean Stockmaster, Feed Your Neighbor, John Rockwood, Johnny Cash, Kentucky Chrome, Larry Meyer, Locoweed, Minglewood Labor Camp, Old State Line, Raise Some Cash, slider, The Thirsty Hooligans