Community has opportunity to make an impact at benefit concert

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By Christine Bolaños

BERTRAM — The Globe Theatre is hosting its first benefit concert since its reopening in 2015 to help boys repair relationships with their families and offer children in the Philippines better futures.

The Bertram-based theatre’s owners selected Salem4Youth Boys Home and the Joyland Orphanage in the Philippines as beneficiaries of 100 percent of donations made during the concert June 4.

“One of the things I’ve seen a need for are these young men who are falling through the cracks,” said Zach Hamilton of The Globe.

Salem4Youth Restoring Home offers a faith-based residential setting for young men who need support, encouragement and hope. They receive educational, motivational and vocational resources that prepare them to re-enter their family environments. Parents and guardians are also offered counseling services.

The nonprofit was originally launched as an orphanage for boys and girls, but evolved to a residential setting over the years. The organization serves troubled boys ages 12 to 17.

Common characteristics of these boys include defiance, anger, truancy and in some cases, mild substance abuse.

Though Salem4Youth takes a spiritual approach to tackling issues, boys are not required to have any kind of faith or spirituality in their lives.

“Many times the parents have tried everything and are looking for real hope,” explained Mac McNair, development director at Salem4Youth. The Illinois-based program serves students mainly in the Midwest, but serves boys from other areas as needed. One of the boys currently at Salem4Youth is from San Antonio.

McNair said the organization has 50-60 acres and 30 horses to teach boys about caring for horses and how to train them. Horses also serve as a form of therapy.

“There’s a school on campus, a computer-based school so they can go at their own pace, a wood shop program, welding, horsemanship and a bee hive program,” McNair said.

Students typically live at the residence for 9-12 months and re-enter their family setting once relationships have been repaired.

“When they leave we want them to be able to go back and be part of their family unit again,” McNair said.

Though boys are constantly rotating through the residency, McNair said Salem4Youth houses on average 100 kids a year.

Hamilton first learned of the Joyland Orphanage during a stop to see a missionary friend on a business trip to China. The missionary introduced him to some of his friends at the orphanage and Hamilton said he was immediately moved to do something to help the children there.

“These kids don’t have a lot of contact with the outside world,” Hamilton said. “They’re starving for any kind of affection. It was so touching and so hard not to be affected by that.”

The orphanage funds children’s education including higher education study for those who show promise and potential.

Joyland is located in the Negros Occidental on land donated by local government. The area is classified as a depressed area with high unemployment, poverty and homelessness.

Children in these situations are especially susceptible to become victims of sexual trafficking. By offering shelter and hope in a spiritual environment, Hamilton said, these children are saved from potentially dire situations.

Salem4Youth offers residency to boys at a low cost, but many times these children come from single-parent homes with a single source of income, so the cost still presents issues. That’s where fundraisers such as the upcoming benefit concert can make all the difference.

Hamilton said admission to the concert is free, but donations will be accepted at the front door. Those donations will go toward funding facilities and scholarships for Salem4Youth boys and upgraded restroom facilities and kitchen at Joyland Orphanage.

“A lot of times they can take more kids off the street if they had bigger facilities,” Hamilton said. “They are literally not being able to take kids off the streets who are falling prey to American and European tourists.”

Jeff Hughes & Chaparral are headlining the concert June 4. The Remnants, a Bertram band, will be the opening act. The show begins at 8 p.m.

Hughes plays monthly at The Globe and Hamilton said when he heard about the benefit concert the causes touched his heart and convinced him to take part.

Members of The Remnants are always looking for venues to play at and causes to support so the benefit concert proved a good fit.

“It’s pretty incredible how it seems like everyone comes out of the woodwork to help,” Hamilton said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before and it’s pretty incredible.”

He said the crowd should expect everything from classic country to hit favorites from artists such as The Cure, Guns N’ Roses and Johnny Cash. Hughes admits he wasn’t familiar with the organizations at first but once Hamilton told him about them he was sold.

“I’ve been playing music for about 30 years around Austin,” he said. “I always like to do benefits for good causes. I’m happy to do this one.”

He said playing at The Globe is thrilling.

“It’s such a time capsule to step in there,” Hughes said. “They’ve done such a fantastic job restoring it. I’m looking forward (to the benefit concert).”

Dayton Warden of The Remnants said the band’s original roots are in Gospel music.

“We think a lot about the kids and try to help as much as we can,” Warden said. “Another reason is we just like to play music too. We wanted to play at The Globe.”

He said he does not know many details about the organizations, but trusts Hamilton’s passion for the causes.

“We’re just happy to be a part of anything like that,” Hughes said. “Especially if it’s helping kids grow up and starting to make good choices in life.”

Hamilton said people will have a chance to learn about each of the boys at Salem4Youth and decide if and to whom they would like to help fund a scholarship for to stay at the facility. He wants people to imagine a day in the life of these children whether struggling in the states or combating life’s hardships in the Philippines.

“What it would be like to be a child in a village out in the Philippines and being sold to a fat American guy or a struggling boy about to run away from home here in the States,” Hamilton said. “What would it mean to be restored to your family. That’s what people have a chance to do.”

The Globe Theatre is located at 132 W. Vaughan Street. For more information, visit globetheatretx.com.

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