Local musicians to play Dec. 8 Christmas concert for charity

Online Staff Report

Jim Waddell and members of local Christian rock band Epiphany will join Saturday, Dec. 8, for their 17th annual Christmas concert.

The free concert begins at 3 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 3555 McFarland Road, Rockford.

Waddell, Epiphany and their children will perform contemporary and traditional versions of several Christmas favorites, both sacred and secular. Special guests include Stephanie Waddell as well as the children of the musicians, who will lead the singing of Christmas carols.

A freewill donation will be taken with all proceeds going to Youth Services Network.

Christmas has always been a special time for me — a time for family, and a time for sharing and giving back — and that is really what this concert is all about,” said Jim Waddell. “It provides a vehicle to spend time with ‘family’ — our friends from Epiphany and their families — and to do something we truly enjoy while benefiting the local community.

People should come to share in a spirit of fellowship, to enjoy just a couple hours in celebration of the season,” he added. “We have a lot of fun putting on this concert, and the people who come have fun being a part of it. It is great for families, and a nice respite in the middle of the Advent season.”

Beyond the fun, however, the concert serves an important purpose: raising money for charity. Recent recipients have included MAPS of Illinois, Gigi’s Playhouse and Maya’s House.

As we tried to decide on a beneficiary for this year’s concert, we talked about what was important to us,” Jim Waddell said. “In general, we felt strongly about helping children in our area. We talked about several options, but in the end, decided this year to benefit Youth Services Network.”

Since 1982, Youth Services Network has provided its unique services to the youth and their families in Winnebago and Boone counties. Their staff provides trauma-informed, holistic and community-based services for their clients. They serve clients from birth to age 21 and provide supportive services for their families.

Difficulties and challenges their clients face include sexual abuse; physical, emotional and/or domestic abuse; various trauma experiences; mental health disorders; social and/or emotional problems; runaway or homeless; teen pregnancy; delinquency; and truancy.

More information is available online at http://www.ysnkids.com.

Waddell, who has organized his annual Christmas concert since 1995, was honored in 2009 as one of the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce’s “40 Leaders Under 40.” Epiphany, winner of the last four Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Awards for contemporary Christian music, was honored this spring with the RAMI for 2011 Song of the Year.

For more information, contact Waddell at jhwaddell2@comcast.net.

Posted Dec. 5, 2012

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