SPRING HILL — The Spring Hill Community Association and Quality Guitars plan to fill the air with song this afternoon and evening.
Together they are presenting "Joyful Music and More" from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Palmwood Pavilion on the Lake House grounds at 1202 Kenlake Ave., adjacent to Hunters Lake.
Encouraged by the success of their "Evening of Joyful Music" last July, Maria and Randy Kras have spearheaded an effort to present another musical event that will entertain and uplift the audience while collecting canned goods for several church food pantries.
"Our event is even bigger than the one we had last year," Maria Kras said, noting that this year's program is an hour longer. "We have more bands and performers and a more diverse program. And it's all free with a donation of a nonperishable food item."
Cara Cooper, public relations and office manager for the community association, said the association chose to have the event in April instead of July in hopes of drawing more people.
"We wanted to do it again because it was one of the best-attended free community events that was thoroughly enjoyed by all who came last year," Cooper said. "We're hoping even more people will want to come out and enjoy it during this cooler time of year."
Bands from several area churches will perform.
Kras said she is excited that so many performers want to donate their time and talent for the event.
"It's awesome to see how so many church bands and performers have come together to help with this local event to help replenish food pantries on the Nature Coast," she said. "They each donated their time and talent at no cost."
Abel's Sacrifice, a praise band from Calvary Chapel, and Potters Clay from Holy Cross Lutheran Church will return this year.
"They both will be presenting several new, original songs," Kras said.
By His Grace comes from Journey Christian Center. The Bridge Band is from Bridge Christian Life Center. Herald Music is part of the ministry of Dayspring Church, composed of family members who sing and play acoustic guitar.
Anzil is a band composed of members from a number of churches.
"Anzil is new with us this year," Kras said. "They have original material and have released several CDs."
Singers include J.J. Lain and Pat & Ann from Bridge Christian Life Center. Crystal Whitehouse is a gospel recording artist from Springs of Life Church.
Papa Kurt is a local comedian and entertainer from Spring Hill Baptist Church who is also a member of the Spring Hill Acoustic Guitar Club.
Loving Hands for Jesus will present a puppet show. The group of children from First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill also performs at local nursing homes and is under the direction of Pat Wolfarth.
The churches providing the entertainment, and others, will have information booths available.
The youth from Holy Cross Lutheran Church will be helping to sort, bag and box the food that is donated.
Last year about 70 bags of food were collected and distributed to four food banks.
"We hope to collect twice that amount at this event," Kras said. "We have six food pantries signed up so far, and I'm sure more requests will come in."
Kras thinks the need for food for the hungry is greater this year.
"It's getting greater and greater," she said. "And area churches are usually the first place people go to, because the need is met immediately."
Kras said many needy people appeal to churches first because they know the churches care.
"They not only meet people's needs physically, but spiritually, too," she said.
Cooper said the association will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soft drinks to help defray costs.
"There will be dessert vendors, and we're hoping for a jewelry vendor," she said. "There will be somebody with fishing equipment and a free bounce house for the children. There will be entertainment this year that can be enjoyed by all ages."
The bloodmobile from LifeSouth Community Blood Bank will be on site from 2 to 8 p.m.
"This is the perfect opportunity for families to come out for a day of wholesome fun and praising the Lord with uplifting music and entertainment," Kras said. "It's an opportunity for Christians to fellowship together and also for those who are not comfortable in a church setting."