Whether volunteering for the Through A Child's Eyes program that provides prison inmates time to bond with their children, hosting a foreign exchange student or assisting other initiatives, Rotary Club of Wilsonville members appreciate the support they receive from the community.
To show its appreciation, the club once again will host four free summer concerts from July 18 to Aug. 8 at Town Center Park.
"The community is great at supporting these things we do, and the concert is a way to give to the public. Hopefully, they can learn more about what we do as well," said Curt Kipp, Rotary Summer Concerts co-chair.
Kipp has helped put on the concert series for many of the years since it was founded in 2002. He says this year's lineup is one of the best the Rotary has ever assembled.
"You're trying to get someone that's an outstanding draw every week, if possible, but the budget can be limiting," Kipp said. "I feel like this year we've achieved it. We have something truly outstanding every week that should draw large crowds each time."
Yearly concert attendees probably are familiar with the musical stylings of Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts. The group will make its 16th appearance July 18, and Kipp said the band has a special knack for crowd engagement.
"The turnout that we get for them every single year demands we bring them back the next year and the next year. It's phenomenal, the crowd they attract," Kipp said. "There's a reason they've been around so long. They just celebrated (their) 40-year anniversary. It's because the wit, entertainment, the song repertoire and the personality in the band are really engaging."
Dance Hall Days, which plays covers ranging from Lady Gaga, Portugal. The Man, Daft Punk and Tom Petty, will perform July 25. However, Kipp said they are most known for their covers of Fleetwood Mac hits.
"It's just the versatility and the quality. You're liable to hear just about anything," Kipp said.
Next, guitar maestro Jennifer Batten and her band, Full Steam, will grace the Town Center Park stage Aug. 1. Kipp said Batten previously played guitar for Michael Jackson during one of his final world tours.
"She's excellent with the guitar, really plays the instrument wel, and just has a commanding presence with it," Kipp said.
Tony Starlight will cap the series with a performance Aug. 8. Attendees of this concert can expect tributes to Neil Diamond, Elton John and "The Rat Pack" and a little improvisational comedy.
"He was so well received when we had him a few years ago, and it was time for him to come back to Wilsonville," Kipp said.
Though the concerts are free, attendees are encouraged to donate to Rotary International's End Polio Now initiative and its attempt to eradicate polio worldwide. The concert series has raised $72,000 for the program since 2007. Kipp said the End Polio Now campaign helped eliminate the disease in India and Nigeria.
"It's really cool to take a disease off the table that's so terrible. It could return if it's not eradicated," he said.
Kipp recently received a service award from the local Rotary district for his work to raise money for End Polio Now.
"I consider it to be the club's award because it's in recognition of what the club has done," he said. "It was nice that they thought of our club and our concert series."
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