Pictured above: Debbie & the Formfitters
Article by Gina Myers
White's Bar is home to live music seven nights a week, but on Wednesday, March 31, the bands that will take the stage will be there for more than just a good time; they'll be rocking out to support the Covenant Kids Telethon. The night, dubbed "Music for Kids," was organized by John Ristich, who will be playing in two bands that night, Debbie & the Formfitters and Cato's Fall. Ristich explains why he wanted to put together such an event: "I'm a big softie when it comes down to it. This is a great cause because children are at the center of it, and I'm someone who sees children as being totally innocent. To know that there are children who are suffering, I wanted to get involved with something that helps relieve that suffering, and Covenant Kids does that."
According to their website, Covenant HealthCare is "the regional leader in providing healthcare to children," and Covenant Kids was founded to "enhance the care for Covenant kids and their families through on-going philanthropic activities." The funds raised through this organization help make life easier for children who are hospitalized and easier for their families too. Ristich says it is about "overall care: mind, body, and soul." The money goes to anything from covering medical expenses to putting video games in waiting areas.
Most of the bands taking the stage on the 31st are pretty well known to White's Bar. Rock the Party, a new band, will be opening, followed by Doogie, Cato's Fall, and The Triple Aces. Debbie & the Formfitters will be closing out the night. There may be a few special surprises throughout the night too. Ristich explains, "I invited bands that were great musicians and that would create the most entertainment and fun for the night."
Fun is definitely a key factor for the Saginaw-based band Doogie. Russell Kela, who sings and plays the synthesizer, says, "We usually tell people it's pop-punk or pop-rock, but overall we just try to play something upbeat you can dance to." Their aim for the night is to show people a good time. "We're more than happy just to play, but when it's for an actual cause, especially an important and life-changing one as this one can be ... I don't think we can begin to describe how much it means to us to be able to play something we've put so much heart and time into for such a good cause."
"Music for Kids" is from 6 p.m. - 1 a.m. on Wednesday, March 31. Cost of entry is $10. Prizes will be raffled off throughout the night, including a guitar and amp. There will also be drink specials. All donations and proceeds will go to Covenant Kids. The funds raised from the event at White's Bar will be donated to Covenant Kids during the Covenant Kids Telethon, which airs on WNEM TV-5 on Saturday, April 24 from 2 to 6 p.m.
© Gina Myers, 2010