Billed as having more entertainment than ever before, the 20th annual American Cancer Society’s Gospel Benefit will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, located on the corner of Fifth and Ferry streets in Metropolis. Everyone is invited to attend.
“I’m excited to say that this year, a total of eight artists have agreed to come all the way to Metropolis — to help raise money for cancer research,” said Martha Bormann, concert coordinator.
Hosting and performing during the evening will be Kevin Williams, guitarist, band director and, “resident smart-alec” for the Gaither Homecoming Tour.
“Kevin is a well-known studio musician in Nashville and has played on countless gospel and country recordings over the years,” explained Bormann. “His gift of humor with the Gaithers has entertained audiences at hundreds of live appearances for the past two decades.”
Also performing from the Gaither Tour will be the duet of Reggie and Ladye Love Smith. They can be seen at the Grand Ole Opry singing backup for some of the top talents in country and gospel music. They have performed with Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, George Jones and Sandi Patty, to name a few. In recent years, they have performed at Carnegie Hall and at the 2006 Super Bowl football game.
Artist Charlotte Ritchie from the Gaithers will be making her second appearance this year. Ritchie performed at the Metropolis benefit in 2007 with Jeff and Sheri Easter.
Prior to her solo career that began in 2008, Ritchie sang with the gospel group, The Nelons, for many years. “You are sure to love her one-of-a-kind voice,” added Bormann.
An up and coming family group, Southern Raised, from the Branson, Mo. area, will complete the entertainment. “And, you are sure to enjoy their instrumentals and their close family harmony that only comes from a family group,” said Bormann.
Admission is free, though a love offering taken will go to the American Cancer Society and will be designated entirely for cancer research.
“So many families in this area have been touched by a cancer diagnosis, so it has become my passion over the last 20 years to see if these concerts can raise $100,000 for cancer research,” explained Bormann. “So far, the support of gospel music to this cause has been overwhelming to me — raising over $50,000 so far.”
Bormann became a cancer survivor in 1994, and her husband died from lung cancer in February.
For additional information, call Bormann at 618-524-5601.