Ohio for Oklahoma! benefit concert to aid tornado victimsWritten by Paige Shermis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Native Toledo musicians Kerry Patrick Clark and Steve Eulberg are hosting a benefit concert called Ohio Folk for Oklahoma! at 7:30 p.m. June 7 at Maumee United Methodist Church. All proceeds will aid the victims of the deadly May 20 tornadoes that ravaged Oklahoma City.
Due to the financial backing of anonymous sponsors, 100 percent of the donations made at the free concert will go to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) and the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
“[The concert] came out of a conversation with my buddy Steve [Eulberg], who had called and said ‘Hey, I’m coming through Ohio on my Midwest tour and I have these dates open, do you want to do a show together?’” Clark said. “We checked out our usual venues, but they were all booked. And then the tornadoes happened. We said, ‘Let’s do something bigger.’ Music is what we do. Once the tornadoes happened, we were both drawn to help out in any small way we could. Truly, the gift of music opens hearts, opens eyes, opens possibilities.”
Eulberg said he could relate to the danger and devastation that tornadoes can cause.
“I grew up in Pemberville, and I know about being in Tornado Alley. The thing that happened every April and summer was spending time in the basement when the tornado sirens went off,” he said.
The benefiting charities were chosen based on their reputations and connections, Clark said.
“[UMCOR and the Red Cross] are doing some really great things down in Oklahoma. The Red Cross is just another one of those organizations that seems to show up and always be there when it’s needed, and so as I look at the landscape of organizations that are doing something, those two organizations are on the forefront,” he said. “I think the best thing that we can give in these instances is money. Both these charities have connections with manufacturers and community members and find a need and fill it, essentially instantly.”
Clark and Eulberg have organized and played several benefit concerts.
“I helped out with an organization when the tornadoes came through our area a couple of years ago. They put together a large concert with three or four stages at the [Culver Field Airport] in Oregon. I’ve also done some [benefits] for local people and organizations,” Clark said.
Eulberg helped to rebuild the church in Joplin, Mo., after an EF5 tornado destroyed much of the city in May 2011.
“We start helping somebody else rebuild their lives,” Eulberg said.
Clark, who lives in Whitehouse, is the praise director and leads music as contemporary worship services at Maumee United Methodist Church.
“I’ve been a musician my whole life. It’s the only thing I’m qualified to do and it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” Clark said.
Clark has contributed original songs to two Toledo Free Press CDs for Make-A-Wish and recorded Bruce Springsteen’s “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” for this month’s Red Cross benefit CD, “Red, White & You.”
Eulberg also plays the guitar and the dulcimer. A former pastor in Kansas City, MO., he lives in Fort Collins, Colo., and is a full-time musician.
Maumee United Methodist Church is located at 405 Sackett St. in Maumee.