PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: Roane Street Was Busy Saturday Evening For The CASA Benefit

Monday, February 10, 2014

Roane Street Was Busy Saturday Evening For The CASA Benefit

Saturday afternoon and well into the evening, the Princess Theatre, and three annex buildings on Roane Street, were open and buzzing with activity, as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Ninth Judicial District held its 2nd annual Winter Blast."  This utilization of the Princess Theatre is arguably one of the best uses of this space in the history of the theater complex.  It was all about children; children that truly need someone in this world to stand up for them!

Three to four hundred area supporters came together for an evening "on the town", with food, fellowship, and entertainment.  The annual event benefited the children CASA supports in the Ninth Judicial District.

Along with other donations and the event proceeds, Tim Duff presented CASA with a check for $2,250 at intermission.  The check was from Subaru of America on behalf of the efforts of Earl Duff Subaru during the Share the Love event during the recent holiday season. 

Standing with Tim Duff, General Manager of Earl Duff Subaru, is Lisa Corcoran-Pierson, District Sales Manager for Subaru, Tim Rogers, District Parts and Service Manager for Subaru, and on the far right is Sandra Weaver, Executive Director, CASA of the 9th District.
Tennessee CASA is a nonprofit organization established to support the development, growth and continuation of programs, which recruit and train volunteers to serve as advocates representing the best interests of abused and neglected children.
Tawny Spinnelli, who is now the Asst. Director, of the Tennessee Children's Cabinet, told the audience what it's like to be a child in need, and what CASA has meant to her.  She told them that she would not have been standing before them had it not been for CASA in her youth.  She thanked the group for supporting CASA and children in the state like her.
It's hard to say which part of the CASA event was the biggest hit.  Some would say it was the three pre-show parties; each having its own venue, catered food (Caramella Catering, Lincoln's Sports Grille, or Ruby Tuesday), and special music, while others may have enjoyed the following concert by The Fairview Union.

Regardless, as an impartial viewer, it all was loads of fun.  People roamed up and down Roane Street checking out the three venues beginning at 4:30 and enjoyed themselves right up to show time at 7PM.  
Many could be seen carrying their food up the street to another venue with their kind of music, or just stood and talked to friends as they ate. 
Outside, music also played on the outdoor speakers, so goers were never without entertainment.
Once inside, the audience awaited the start of the concert, and Becky Ruppe, Chair of the local CASA Board of Directors, quickly welcomed them and introduced the evening's entertainment.
The Fairview Union hit the stage and began rocking those in attendance with their "today" country music!
The group was new to me, but I soon understood that they are a well rehearsed and accomplished group, that is sure to make a name for themselves.
The group's members are:

Chad Wilson Lead Vocals, Guitar
Kelli Wilson Lead Vocals, Keyboard
Mike Barnes Lead Guitar
Chris Potocik Drums
Neal Foster  Vocals, Bass
Here are a few of the stills I made at rehearsal and during the concert:

Chris Potocik recognizing his favorite photographer!
And, I must recognize our own local member, Melanie Duff, who accompanied the band on "Cowbell"!  Cowbell is a song on the group's new album "Bona Fide" coming out on February 22nd!
*The event was produced by the Princess Theatre Foundation, with all proceeds going to benefit CASA in the Ninth Judicial District.  The event was presented by Earl Duff Subaru and Citizens First Bank.

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