By Kelsey Givens
Music is a powerful tool.
It can motivate, inspire and set the mood of an event or place simply with the right chord or a craftily placed lyric.
Fidelis Christian Church is hoping to use the power of music to bring the community together this weekend for the first ever Rock-4-A-Cause benefit concert to help homeless and at-risk children in the Nye County School District.
Officials estimate there are more than 500 disadvantaged children currently in the school district, and according to a calculation completed last school year, at least 266 of those children are considered homeless.
Linda Fitzgibbons, the homeless liaison for the school district, said, while not all of those 266 homeless students are physically living out on the streets, they are living in unstable conditions and have no adequate residence to call home when they leave school premises.
Though those 266 homeless students live all over the county, the majority reside here in Pahrump.
Jim Scott of Fidelis Christian Church said the group hopes this event will raise much-needed money to help give kids in need things they may not otherwise be able to obtain.
“The schools know the kids in need and they’re very active in identifying those kids and helping them,” Scott said.
The school district, through the McKinney-Vento Act, operates under a federal grant enabling them to provide enrollment assistance, school supplies and instructional support to children and unaccompanied youth residing in temporary emergency shelters, hotels, motels, parks, cars, and RVs. But the grant doesn’t help the district provide other items kids and families in need truly need like clothing, shoes, haircuts and other necessities they may be struggling in their transitional state to afford.
“Those types of things are not paid for under the grant,” Fitzgibbons said. “With the additional funding we can help provide those things. We will pay for their tassels, year books and there’s even some money set aside to help pay for prom. We also do haircut cards that we distribute to the parents to help pay for that,” she said.
The additional fund is reliant on the charitable works of local churches and local businesses who donate money or host item drives and events to help collect materials to give to students in need.
And that is where Rock-4-A-Cause comes in on Sunday, Nov. 4.
The concert will feature the sounds of In the Midst, Par~A~Digm, The Colton and Zara Band and God With Us. The bands are all bringing a positive message in their rock and alternative sounds in order to bring people into the park and raise money.
In addition to the music there will be carnival games, raffles, face-painting and a highly-anticipated “smash car” activity where festival goers can pay a small fee to take their turn to bash a used car with a sledgehammer.
In all, local businesses donated $3,900 in prizes and materials to help Fidelis Christian Church with this project.
A $1 donation will earn car-smashing enthusiasts three whacks at the vehicle, donated by Two Star Towing, and there will be three different tier levels of raffle prizes, with tickets for each one costing either $10, $5 or $1.
For $10, raffle ticket holders will be entered to win prize packages like 10 “fast laps” in a Corvette at Spring Mountain Motor Sports, a golf package for four at Mountain Falls Golf Club, one-year-pass to the Death Valley National Park and a Death Valley Natural History Association gift basket, a six-month membership to Anytime Fitness or a beauty package from CC’s Beauty Zone.
For $5 tickets, patrons will be entered to win prizes like two one-month Custom Health and Fitness memberships and gift baskets, a motorcycle oil change and transmission service from Enck’s Import & Domestic Auto Repair, a one-hour massage by Tina Edgerton, a gift basket from Sanders Winery or a gift basket from Cup of Faith Christian Books.
And for a $1 ticket people will be entered to win items like free pizzas from Little Caesars, a free week of classes at the Mix-It-Up MMA Academy, a manicure and pedicure by Kim and Jessica Fancher, an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, bowling at the Pahrump Nugget, a gift certificate to the Pink Buffalo Boutique, frozen yogurt from I Love Yogurt, a round of golf from Lakeview Executive Golf Course or a movie night from StarLite Video.
And for a donation of $70, patrons will be entered into drawings for all of the prizes mentioned above.
“One of the big things is we want families to bring lawn chairs and blankets to come hang out and have fun,” Scott said.
He added he hopes with all of these activities and the concert to see the church pull in a large crowd, which will help them in their quest to raise money for children in need.
“The reality is the more people that come, the more money we can raise,” he said. “We want people to understand the need exits in Pahrump. All of the money we raise goes to the fund, we’re not taking a dime of it back for ourselves.”
If this year’s event is a success, Scott said Fidelis hopes to make Rock-4-A-Cause an annual concert in Pahrump, adding more activities and bands to the lineup as years go by, all in the name of helping needy children in the school district.
“Next year we have it in the works to include a BMX and skateboarding clinics for basic and advanced students in the skate park, hopefully. And we might make it a Saturday and Sunday event in the future. We’re really excited about it,” he said.
Rock-4-A-Cause will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday at Ian Deutch Memorial Park. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to make themselves comfortable while watching the bands perform.
“It’s totally free. The bands are coming totally out-of-pocket, and people are helping us out because they know this is a big deal. We just want people to come out and see the need exists,” Scott added.