Elvis tribute fundraiser a smash hit

While many may think “the King” is dead, there’s no question his spirit is alive and well in Fort Frances.
About 325 music-lovers—both young and of an age who remember Elvis Presley’s first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show—packed the Townshend Theatre last night for the electrifying “Comeback King Show,” featuring Elvis tribute artist Daylin James and special guest “Patsy Cline” (Shirley Hanslip).
The concert was fundraiser for the local skate park and while organizers still are adding up the dollars earned, they did say the show was a bonafide winner.
“I think there was good support. There was a great crowd,” said Rob Tovey, chairman of the skate park committee, adding he’s already gotten phone calls this morning from people regarding the “excellent quality” of performers last night.
“It was good. We made money and it was a fun thing to do,” Tovey continued. “I thought it was very positive. Hopefully, everybody felt they got their money’s worth.”
Since the skate park committee still needs to pay back the town for bridge funding provided to them earlier this year, the fundraising will carry on in the months ahead.
The next push is to get participants for the Voyageur Lions’ “Polar Plunge” coming up on New Year’s Day. Tovey said the skate park group raised about $2,800 from this year, but would like to double that in 2007.
“We want to try and get more kids involved,” he added, noting anyone interested in taking the “plunge” in the name of the skate park can contact him at 274-6113.
The skate park committee also will continue to promote its “Buy A Brick” campaign throughout the winter. Bricks cost $100 each, which will be installed at the skate park with an individual, family, or company name on it.
Anyone wanting to buy a brick can call Tovey at the above number.
And then in April, the popular Thunder Bay Legends will put on a fundraiser concert at the Townshend Theatre for the skate park.
In related news, “Elvis” will be back for a second concert here on Thursday, Dec. 14 as a fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation.
Unlike the straight-ahead rockin’ hits and love songs performed last night, Gospel and holiday numbers will be on the play list for this concert.
Local Kidney Foundation member Mary Jane Pearson, a self-professed Elvis fan, was at last night’s concert and hopes to see that success repeated next month.
“I was so thrilled,” she said of the concert. “I think everybody enjoyed it.”
Pearson noted she remembers Presley’s debut on the Ed Sullivan Show and felt that at times during the evening, James’ expressions and gestures were “perfect.”
Pearson noted she’s already sold some tickets for next month’s concert with the momentum created last night.
Tickets also are being sold at Northwoods Gallery & Gifts, Greensides General Store in Devlin, and Emo Drugs.