The Brice Prairie First Responders will hold their fifth annual Rockin’ the Prairie fundraiser Saturday.
The event is a night of local music, food provided by the Brice Prairie Lions Club and a variety of raffles to bring the community together for a cause.
Rockin’ the Prairie had a stormy start, literally, with just one small band and a tree-toppling thunderstorm. Since then, the event, which last year drew close to 1,000 people, has grown. This year will feature two high-energy, local cover bands: Redline Outlaw and At Large. It will be both bands’ first time playing at the fundraiser.
Brice Prairie First Responders is an entirely volunteer-run organization that has served the community for 30 years. The organization is always looking for more people to volunteer. President and service director Chris O’Hearn is continually reaping the benefits of helping those in need. “For us, it is feeling like we are doing something important,” he said.
For him even the smallest act of care is worth it, even if it is simply holding someone’s hand in comfort as he or she waits for an ambulance.
The Brice Prairie First Responders receive support from the town for operational expenses, but for other needs, they need to raise money without burdening the taxpayers. Rockin’ the Prairie raises needed support for Brice Prairie EMS and Rescue, celebrates its mission and entertains the community.
Vice president and Rockin’ the Prairie coordinator Amy Scheevel said, “It’s a lot of work. We have a lot of good support on the Prairie, and it’s the details that create success.”
While most groups typically provide light medical support, the Brice Prairie First Responders also provide water and ice rescue. Proceeds from this year’s Rockin’ the Prairie will go toward equipment and training to enhance the organization.
“We really appreciate the community support and our sponsors,” O’Hearn said.
Scheevel said the feel of the event is far from a fundraiser, and it has turned into a community festival of sorts.
Lead singer of Redline Outlaw, Scott Foster, loves performing. “I love seeing people enjoy themselves. You feed off people, and they feed off of you,” he said.
The band, which began in winter of 2005, plays largely ’80s classic rock along with country rock. It plays for clientele generally ranging from 25 to 50 years old. Foster said the band chooses songs by asking the question, “If we were sitting in a bar and someone wanted to put $10 into the juke, what would they pick?”
The band consists of Foster, lead vocals; Ryan Sacia, rhythmic guitar; Amy Kurtz, vocals; Scott Baunreiter, drummer; Randy Patzner, bass; Kent Flattum, lead guitar; Terry Volkman, sound; and Sally Snow, lights.
Redline Outlaw brings energy and a lot of personality to their shows. Foster said, “We know how to get a crowd into it.”
He said, “If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t be wasting my time.”
Lance Woodward, lead singer of At Large, is also looking forward to Rockin’ the Prairie. “I’ve learned a lot more about the cause, and I’m fired up because they provide service to the community,” he said.
At Large plays hits from the ’80s to present day from countless artists including U2, Daughtry, Shinedown, Charlie Daniels, the Police and Fall Out Boy. Woodward said, “We play a big variety of quality rock ’n’ roll.”
The band seeks to bring an energetic performance that engages the crowd. “For me, I’ve been performing for a long time, and it’s all about connecting,” he said.
The band is comprised of Woodward, lead vocals; Ann Woodward, manager; Brent Welch, drummer; Chad Hatlevig, lead guitar and vocals; Kjel Hatlevig, bass; and Amy Hatlevig, keys, vocals and violin.