ALLEGANY — The 4th Annual Southern Tier Wounded Soldiers Benefit Concert on Saturday exceeded expectations, attracting more than 1,100 people to raise awareness and support wounded and disabled veterans.
Hundreds of country music fans from near and far flocked to Fireman’s Park throughout the afternoon to enjoy food and drink while listening to country music by four artists familiar to local residents.
“It was a great attendance. Nothing was too much trouble,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, who hosted the event. “Everyone gave great feedback and had a great time.”
Miller, who enlists the help of family, friends and local volunteers to organize the event, said the day went well, especially considering advance ticket sales were comparable to the previous three concerts pre-pandemic. Told. He said it was great to see so many people come together when several other long-running events were taking place on the same day.
“Usually about 1,000,” he said. “At the beginning of the day, it’s especially hot and the temperature goes from 500 for him to 700 for him. That’s when the majority of people are there.”
The concert line-up includes headline country music artist Connor Smith, as well as area artist Briana Blankenship of Kane, Pennsylvania, Buffalo-born musician Eric Van Houten of Nashville, and a 2018 benefit concert. Performed by Maggie Beau, also from Nashville.
Miller said artists and bands had a great time on Saturday, which he said was a good representation of the community as a whole.
“They all interacted with the audience. None of them were too good at interacting with the crowd,” he said. “They came forward at one point to sell merch and take pictures. It was nice to see.”
With the event canceled in 2020 and a hiatus in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19, Miller’s preparations for this year’s concert are like riding a bike. said. He said there were some new hurdles to overcome as some of the people involved in previous concerts moved or passed away, but many people stepped up to help.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was very smooth and efficient,” he said. “We all rode. I can’t do it alone, no one can do it alone, we all need each other and we all put on a great event together.”
Miller said the total amount raised is still being worked out, but significant donations have been made to organizations such as the Homes For Our Troops Foundation, the Western New York Heroes, Buffalo, Fisher House, where his family stayed while in the hospital, and St. Paul. said it will be. Bonaventure College Veterans Service.
“We are truly grateful to everyone in the community who has played a part in this and everyone who has participated, donated or contributed,” he said. “This is one family, one community and overall a great day,” he added.
Nothing has been decided yet, but there are tentative plans for a fifth benefit concert in 2024, Miller said.