In my column the week of March 7th I shared with you the very personal story about Monte Muirhead titled “His Story Just Needs To BeTold.” I want to give you an update on the gathering his friends planned for Monte. They wanted to give him a party where he could get together with as many friends as possible and also as a fundraiser to help him keep up with his day-to-day expenses.
Here is a paragraph from that column. “The current issue is that, not being able to work, he can’t earn any money. His medical costs have been an issue, but now he has run out of money for his day-to-day living expenses. Monte has a long list of friends who have been helping him out when they can.” As if having stage 4 cancer isn’t enough of a challenge he is concerned that he doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone either. With the passing of Monte’s mother, with whom he shared a house and the expenses, the lack of funds has become a serious barrier to keeping his life as stable as possible.
Sunday March 20th the friends of Monte Muirhead and some of their friends gathered at the Sutherlin Eagles Lodge for a benefit concert and heart-felt get-together so that Monte could feel the friendship and love of his friends at a time when he would really appreciate it the most. One of Monte’s friends, Cindy Lou, spearheaded the event and was able to get 9 local area bands (Monte lives in Oakland,OR) to participate in an all-day celebration for Monte and to secure donations to help with Monte’s living expenses. The bands volunteered their time so that all of the money collected would go to Monte. The 9 bands were listed on the poster that was made to promote the concert, but I wanted to make sure they were all recognized for their enthusiastic participation. Special thanks go to the 9 bands including Hat Trick (The host band), the Umpqua Valley Blue Grass Band, Moonglow, Dawn Day, Acoustic Blend, Dylan James, Velvet Whiskey, Mo Jo Boogie, and Colleen & company.
Dirk Snyder was the master of ceremonies who introduced the bands and was instrumental in the raffle drawings. As a matter of fact his son Will Snyder, a professional photographer, took just about all of the pictures you see in this article.
Tickets for the concert were $10 for singles and $15 per couple and all of the proceeds went into the fund for Monte. The event was set up like an open house so that people could come and go as needed. Cindy Lou estimates about 200 people were in attendance throughout the day.
Besides the cool music of the bands raffle tickets were on sale. Cindy Lou certainly has the knack for getting items donated by local businesses. The items ranged from a weekend stay at Osprey Point RV Resort at Lakeside to bottles of wine, to a beautiful ring and more.
The ring is a story unto itself. Bill Gill was planning to get engaged. As it turns out, he won the ring in the raffle so right on-the-spot he proposed to his love Pat. And she did say yes as they were standing in front of a lot of people.
Monte knew he wouldn’t be able to attend the whole event so he came earlier in the the day stayed for a while and then went back home to rest. He returned later and stayed for at least a couple of hours late in the afternoon. A special recliner was brought to the Eagles Lodge so that Monte would have a comfortable place to sit and visit with everyone. That chair was given to Monte and taken to his home so that he would have an especially comfortable place to both sit down and lay back when he needed to without having to go to bed.
I’ve held off giving you this information so I could describe the event for you first. The concert netted $1,500 for Monte which will help him take care of his bills. Great job everyone!
I’ll complete this article with a direct quote that Monte posted on his Facebook page ” THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT AT THE CONCERT FUNDRAISER !!!”
When I spoke with Monte he said he was really blown away by the number of people who came to the concert even though they did not know Monte personally, but through his having been on television or out and about in town. And finally, a special thank you to Cindy Lou and Dirk Snyder (her “better half” as she calls him), and Connie Kendrick for organizing such a wonderful event. This shows us all what great friends Monte has and that he is a very special person to have so many people that consider him their friend.
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