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Saturday's Musicians Showcase for Charity to benefit United Way

SPRING HILL — To raise money for the United Way of Hernando County, United Parcel Service's Brooksville service center last year organized a billiards tournament. This year, a bowling tournament has been scheduled for Saturday at Spring Hill Lanes.

But organizers thought maybe something more could be done.

So when his co-workers at UPS asked whether he would perform at the adjacent Hooters restaurant after the tournament, singer/songwriter Brian Letendre felt compelled to take it a step further.

"I saw a bigger opportunity to raise more money for United Way," Letendre said.

As a result, Letendre has organized a Musicians Showcase for Charity, featuring local musicians and songwriters, on an outdoor stage Saturday at the Hooters on Commercial Way. Performers will include Letendre, Maria Burns and Friends, Michael O'Hara, the Danny & Josh Band, Big Jim Allen, the Bob Hope Band and Clenchfist. Special guests will include Writcherd Gomesz, Joe Wilkerson and Sara Rosado.

Maria Burns and Friends will kick off the show.

"Maria is high-energy, always a smile from ear to ear," Letendre said.

Burns recruited several of her friends to join her set: Doc Shaker on guitar, drummer Robin Kelly, bass player George Gurganus, and Henry Kirk on saxophone; both Gurganus and Kirk are members of well-known local band Borderline.

"Actually, I can't believe the guys that have come out of the woodwork to work with me," Burns said. "I'm excited about it."

Burns also has been helping Letendre organize the show.

"Maria was a saving grace," he said. "She helped quite a bit."

Along with being the event organizer, Letendre will perform his original, acoustic-style songs. Joining him will be his good friend Jerry Galanti.

"Jerry will play a few of his originals, which are awesome," Letendre said.

The show headliner is Clenchfist. Shortly after it formed several years ago, the local alternative rock band won a Battle of the Bands at Springstead High School, and soon attracted a large following. The group performed at the Livestock festival in Pasco County in 2006 and has opened for major-label bands such as Kings of Leon.

Letendre said that the band will perform an acoustical set, plus its newest song, Freedom.

Between breaks, raffle prizes donated by local businesses will be awarded. Also, fliers will available for guests to present at Hooters, which will then donate 10 percent of customers' bills to the local United Way.

All money raised from the show and raffle will also go to the United Way.

Letendre said that should there be rain, the show will be moved indoors at Spring Hill Lanes.

"UPS does a great job, and we appreciate all the dollars they give us," said Kathy Jones, executive director of the Hernando United Way. "It helps our community so much. They are lifesavers."

Having been reared by a single mom, Letendre said he appreciates the charities and programs that benefit from the local United Way, particularly youth programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters.

"Most importantly, this is a family event," Letendre said. "We want the kids out here, too. … We just want to give back to the community."

>>If you go

Musicians Showcase

for Charity

Concerts will take place Saturday afternoon and evening at Hooters, 3437 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. Admission is free. Here is the lineup:

4-4:45 p.m.: Maria Burns and Friends

5-5:20 p.m.: Michael O'Hara

5:30-6 p.m.: Danny & Josh Band

6:10-6:40 p.m.: Big Jim Allen

6:55-7:15 p.m.: Brian Letendre, with Jerry Galanti

7:30-8:30 p.m.: Bob Hope Band

8:45-9:15 p.m.: Clenchfist

Saturday's Musicians Showcase for Charity to benefit United Way 08/25/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 25, 2011 9:12pm]

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