Jim Waddell and members of local Christian rock band Epiphany will join Saturday, Dec. 13, for their 19th annual Christmas concert.
The free concert begins at 4 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 3555 McFarland Road, in Rockford.
Waddell and Epiphany will perform “unplugged” and intimate versions of contemporary and traditional Christmas favorites, both sacred and secular. Special guests include Amy Schultz, Stephanie Waddell and the children of the musicians.
A free-will donation will be taken, with all proceeds going to Rock House Kids.
“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,” Waddell said. “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 Youth Services Network, MAPS of Illinois, Gigi’s Playhouse and Maya’s House.
“Choosing the beneficiary each year is a group effort,” Waddell said. “In general, we feel strongly about helping children in our area. This is the first time that we have selected a repeat organization to benefit. Rock House Kids is such a strong organization doing good work in our community. We were very impressed with what they are doing when we initially worked with them last year — so much so that it was an easy and unanimous decision to support them again with this year’s concert.”
Founded in 1999, Rock House Kids is an outreach that cares for at-risk children from ages 4 to18 in Rockford’s inner city.
The agency offers a variety of programs, including evening activities where children are served hot meals and enjoy music and instructional time. Children then are split into age-appropriate groups for mentoring in basic life skills with adult volunteers who encourage the children to do their best in school and give them positive life goals. Additionally, after-school programs offered Tuesday and Thursday afternoons provide snacks and tutoring, free of charge.
More about Rock House Kids is available at http://www.rockhousekids.org.
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 is the winner of five Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) awards for contemporary Christian music, a member of the RAMI Hall of Fame, and artists behind the 2011 RAMI Song of the Year.
For more information, contact Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Dec. 10-16, 2014, issue