PILOT MOUNTAIN — A local church youth group will be hosting a community concert this Saturday at the Armfield Civic and Recreation Center as a way of helping those around them who will be facing need during the upcoming holiday season.
The Simmons Grove Baptist Church youth will serve as hosts for the first “Will Play For Food” concert and food drive. The concert will take place on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Armfield Center gymnasium.
Admission for the concert will be any canned or non-perishable food items or any monetary donation, with all proceeds to benefit the Pilot Mountain Outreach Center. Concessions also will be available.
Featured performers for the afternoon will be the popular local group, 1 Way N. The group is made up of Pilot Mountain residents Casey and Mary Byrd, Freddy and Cathy Combs of Cana, Va., Eddy Combs of Mount Airy and Michael Tilley of Westfield. The busy group is well known locally after years of performing at various area venues, including churches and benefits.
“We’ve been together for about 11 years,” Mary Byrd said. “We’re a contemporary/southern gospel group, but we mix in a little bit of everything. We try to have something for everybody. Our main goal is to tell people about the Lord and we like to have fun doing it.”
This weekend will be the group’s last scheduled performances of the year. It is working on finishing a new CD, scheduled for release in January.
“They’re a great group to have for this kind of setting,” said Christy McClelland, a Simmons Grove youth leader who is helping to organize Saturday’s event. “They’re very diverse, with a sound that has everything from contemporary to southern gospel, bluegrass and country.”
According to McClelland, the concert came about as youths at the church sought ways to collect food for the center. A recent presentation by an outreach center volunteer had made the entire church aware of the need in the community. Separately, both adults and youths had decided to host food drives for the center.
“The youths decided to put a spin on things,” McClelland said with a smile, “by challenging the adults to see who could raise more. This concert is one way they’re trying to get a step up on the adults.
“They realize and understand the degree of need in their community and they’re eager to help. Whether it’s work or play, they go at everything with energy and enthusiasm.”
In a recent interview, Pilot Mountain Outreach Center Director Jimmy Caparolie noted that the center has seen a major jump in recent months of families needing help. The center now averages helping more than 400 persons each month.
“Right now,” McClelland added, “there’s a great need for food at all food banks. Pilot Mountain Outreach serves our community so this lets us help the people around us. This is important with Christmas coming and they’re also needing toys and school supplies.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to help in our community by being a part of this,” Byrd said. “A lot of people are very much needing help right now.”