Through the summer a different band performs each Wednesday evening in the free Sunset Beach concert series, but the concert committee offers a twist: a local charity benefits from a 50-50 raffle.
“We give the charities an opportunity to explain their mission, and it’s a great opportunity for them to raise funds,” said Fred Thorne, chairman of the committee. “The hard part is selecting 15 charities.”
The fundraising effort began three years ago. A formal application process is in place and the charities must be at least a 501(c)(3) and have a North Carolina Charitable Solicitation license, Thorne said.
American Legion Post 503, Calabash, N.C., benefited from the July 2 concert, and Diane Larrowe, commander of the Post, said the proceeds will benefit veterans and their families.
“I knew what was right for me and my family when I was deployed, so I can relate,” she said. “The Legion will try to raise more money for them. The Legion does a lot for different veterans’ organizations.”
Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Department began the free concert series about a dozen years ago with concerts in Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Southport. Since then Calabash, Leland, Shallotte and Sunset Beach were added, but Sunset Beach is the only venue that raises money for charity. About 50 sponsors provide the funds needed to host the Sunset Beach concerts, and Thorne said that the committee contacts the bands directly and seven of them will play exclusively at Sunset Beach and not at the other Brunswick County venues.
Soul band Smokin Hot Rhythm & Blues plays July 16, and Sunset Beach-exclusive Duke Ladd Band, known for ‘50s, jazz and big band genres, plays July 23. A complete list of the schedule is at www.sunsetbeachconcerts.com.