By K.D. Norris
Cindy Obetts and Calvin Weeks are the drummers for two local classic rock ‘n’ roll bands – The 6 Pak and The Guiness Brothers Band, respectively – and they are also big believers in drumming up support for the area’s military veterans, especially the Grand Rapids Veterans Home.
So, after a successful first attempt putting on a benefit night of music last year with the assistance of the Wyoming Knights of Columbus, it is only keeping the beat that the two bands will be on stage again Veterans Day night for the second year of “A 6 Pak of Guinness” and continuing to support America’s heroes.
“A 6 Pak of Guinness,” a fundraiser for the Grand Rapids Veterans Home, will be held Friday, Nov. 11, from 7-11 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus #4362 hall, 5830 Clyde Park Ave. SW. The public is invited, but it is a 21 and older show. Doors open at 6 p.m. for best seating and dinner, if desired.
There is no cover, but a free will offering of support for the Veterans Home will be taken. There will also be food and libation available, as well as a 50-50 raffle and other raffles of donated items. (And they are still accepting donations of raffle items.)
“When we first talked about doing this, we thought ‘Let’s just donate the proceeds to a veterans organization,’” Obetts said this week. “But then we said ‘Hey, we have a group of veterans right here that we should be supporting.’
“We thought we’d make, like $1,000 last year, but we raised nearly $4,500,” she said. “The management of the home was very supportive, telling us we could designate the funds for whatever we wanted.”
Last year, and again this year, the proceeds will go for some “fun” activities the Veterans Home might not normally have funds to provide, such as ball games and fishing trips, Obetts said.
“Ironically, the simple pleasures in life like picnics, holiday parties, ice cream socials, are dependent on volunteer donations,” Rochelle Mudrey, also of The 6 Pak, said in supplied material. “Everyone needs to have some fun things to look forward to, and to share that joy with others. … As proud Americans and Michiganders we owe it to give back to those who stepped up and served our country on our behalf. This is our opportunity to do the right thing and say thank you for keeping us safe and free.”
Part of the reason for last year’s success, and the anticipation of another successful event, is the support of the Knights of Columbus and other community groups, according to Weeks, of The Guinness Brothers Band.
Lining up sponsors for last year’s event was the easy part, he said. Local business owners and other “movers and shakers” were anxious to get on board. Donors as diverse as the Cow Pie Music Festival, West Michigan Beer Distributing and Craig’s Cruisers “stepped up” to help make the event a success.
The musical schedule for the evening will have The 6 Pack bringing their 1960s-era music to the stage first, followed by the decade-spanning classic rock of The Guinness Brothers, with the two bands on stage for the final set of the evening. But the real star of the evening will be the people who turn out to support the cause.
“We live in a very generous community,” Mudrey said. “The Michigan Veterans Home is ours.”
For more information about the event, or to donate either items for raffle or to make a donation to the cause, call Obetts at 616-784-6389.