Get in tune with giving this summer

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By ANTHONY FLORES

One of the beloved staples of Texas summers is live outdoor music. Community Pathways, L4 Cares, and Shooting Star Ranch are coming together to host the Dancing Under the Stars concert series, featuring an event the first Friday of each month from June to September.

This is Community Pathways’ second attempt at hosting a live event series for Liberty Hill.

“Last year, we were going to have a concert for fundraising,” said Community Pathways founder Vickie McCown. “We had everything lined up, and I had reached out to Shawn (Oehrlein at Shooting Star Ranch) because she wanted to help our organization. She asked us what she could do to help. I told her that if she’d allow us, we’d have something out there. We called it Band Together and had some bands lined up until COVID hit. When the City canceled its July 4 festival, we knew we had to cancel.”

The series kicks off on June 4, with a performance by The Michael Ingalls Band, followed by Jason Kane White and the Lonesome Band on July 2, Hayden Haddock & South 35 Band on Aug. 6, and Billie Jo on Sept. 3. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Food trucks and concessions will be available and those interested in alcoholic beverages can bring their own in a cooler for a $10 fee. Door prizes and other gift items will be distributed at each event.

The current iteration of the summer concert lineup came together almost as if fate willed it.

“It was a God thing with the way it all came together,” said Shooting Star Ranch owner Shawn Oehrlein. “We talked about it, and it grew on its own. Normally you have to plan these things out way ahead, and all of a sudden by the end of the first week, we had the entire lineup. Then we got the sponsors.”

The three parties came together after Oehrlein reached out to McCown.

“It was Shawn who reached out to me, and I was like, ‘can I bring Kendra along?’” said McCown. “We had worked together before. She works with the younger children, veterans, and those in nursing homes. We focus on older youth and their family. We kind of complete the circle.”

Funds raised through the concerts will be divided between Community Pathways and L4 Cares to help each organization continue its work.

Embracing the idea of random acts of kindness, Cofer offered to help Department of Public Safety officer Adrian Harris and National Guardsman Karli Calhoun. Cofer met the couple for the first time by chance when Harris was taking photos at Shooting Star Ranch as the couple toured the venue for their upcoming wedding. After talking for a few minutes, she knew it was a sign and offered to help them by paying for their wedding. L4 Cares dedicated the funds from one of the concerts to help pay for a couple’s wedding.

“What I decided to do is for the July concert I’ll take 100 percent of my proceeds and put it towards their wedding,” said Cofer. “I want people to fall in love with the idea of helping this couple, this growing family. It’s a neat way to reach out and support.”

McCown hoped to host a battle of the bands style event, a throwback to her youth. The idea morphed into a concert series after she met with Dan Stephens of DGS Music Promotions and Management.

“We have a gentleman, Dan Stephens, who sets up bands at venues. He promotes them,” said McCown. “Someone gave me his number, and I reached out to him. He has all of the bands set up for our shows. All of them are performing at no cost. Dan has done fundraisers before. When I talked to him about my organization and L4 Cares, he said his heart was helping people, so he’d get us some bands.”

Community members can volunteer for the events or donate items like sodas, Gatorade, water, or desserts to help.
The group hopes the series inspires the community to embrace helping others with random acts of kindness.

“It gives me goosebumps because it was meant to be,” said Oehrlein. “We know people will respond to this. It’s special already, and it hasn’t happened yet. We’re community entities. That’s where my heart is, and that’s why we’re doing this.”

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