(Cushing, Ok) — United Way of Payne County (UWPC) and The Dunkin Theatre reunite to bring back the Rockin’ for United Way Benefit Concert in Cushing on Friday, Aug. 11.
One-man band, Hosty, is scheduled to perform at The Dunkin Theatre, with Blue Dirt Project as the show opener. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show starts at 8 p.m.
“The most fun projects are the ones that have special meaning,” Geoff Beasely, owner of the theater, said. “What better way to come together and raise money for the United Way.”
This is the second year for the fundraising event. Last year’s concert included Jason Savory and featured Charlie Hickman Band, a rock band that formed in Cushing in 2016.
This year’s headline performer, Mike Hosty, formed a loyal following locally. However, his success expanded when Stoney Larue and Toby Keith each covered his song “Oklahoma Breakdown,” which was also referenced on The Jimmy Fallon Show. Both Hosty and Blue Dirt Project were chosen for their high-energy, Beasley said, which may appeal to concert-goers.
The organizers of the concert not only aim to raise money for Payne County but also increase awareness about UWPC’s reach. The organization is based in Stillwater but serves all of Payne County, including more than 6,000 individuals outside of Stillwater city limits.
For example, American Red Cross trained 1,194 people in life-saving CPR, first aid and automatic external defibrillator skills last year. The Salvation Army served more than 4,000 struggling individuals with food, rental assistance, clothing and other essential needs. In all, a United Way agency directly helped one out of every three Payne County residents in 2022.
“Attending this concert is one way to support your neighbors, friends and family,” Ruth Cavins, executive director for UWPC, said. “There’s a good chance you know someone who has received services, support or training from one of our partner agencies.”
A total of 22 local nonprofit agencies receives funding from UWPC each year. The UWPC $1,000,000 annual fundraising campaign begins Sept. 1. The same goal was set and surpassed last year. Events such as the concert help contribute to that goal.