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Fundraiser to benefit Oklahoma tornado victims

By Staff | Jul 3, 2013

A concert Sunday in Cape Coral will help the victims of the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma.

“Hearts for the Heartland,” hosted by the Paul Jennings Ministries and the Dixie Roadhouse, will be held from 3-11 p.m. at 1023 S.E. 47th Terrace. Tickets are available at the door for $10 per person.

Paul Jennings, founder of the local not-for-profit ministries, explained that 100 percent of the door proceeds collected will go to Feed the Children, which is based out of Oklahoma City, in Oklahoma.

“We just felt like we wanted to help something directly,” he said, adding that families in need in the Oklahoma area will benefit. “There won’t be any operational fees taken out of that money.”

“They’re a very reputable organization,” Jennings said, adding that he has worked with Feed the Children and its track record is “stellar.” “They really put their money where their mouth is.”

Hearts for the Heartland is a non-religious event and will feature local musical favorites.

About three weeks ago, the Paul Jennings Ministries partnered with the Faith Fellowship World Outreach of Fort Myers to host an event that raised just over $1,000. The money went to a church in Oklahoma, whose pastor had relocated to the area from Southwest Florida before the tornadoes.

“We’d already done a Christian faith-based event, but we also saw the need to appeal to the community in general,” Jennings said. “We knew there was a lot of people who wouldn’t come into a church.”

He called Hearts for the Heartland a “general public type of event.”

The bands set to perform include Deb and The Dynamics, the Wild Fire Blues Band, Liquor Box and the Grayson Rogers Band, along with a few others. Country line dancing lessons will also be given.

Jennings noted that every band was happy to take part in the fund-raiser.

“There wasn’t one band that we talked to that hummed or hawed about it,” he said.

Organizers hope to raise a couple thousand dollars to send to the victims.

“We’re love to pack the place,” Jennings said. “We’d love to raise anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.”

Along with the performances, Hearts for the Heartland will offer raffles and 50/50 drawings.

Local businesses donated prizes for the games, some of which will be on display for people to place their tickets with in the hopes of winning. Each attendee will get two tickets upon entering to use.

“So they really have a choice with what they’re doing with their raffle,” he said.

Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase on site.

“It’s helping people up in Oklahoma,” Jennings said why people should drop by and help support the event. “It’s an absolute mess up there, and it’s going to take a long long time for them to recover.”

He also pointed out the musical lineup.

“For $10, you can’t beat that,” Jennings said.

A series of violent tornadoes raked parts of Oklahoma in May, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds more, the Associated Press reported. Two of the tornadoes were top-of-the-scale EF5s.

The storms, including tornadoes and flooding, which occurred between May 18 and June 2, caused an estimated $40 million in uninsured infrastructure losses, debris removal and other costs, the AP said.

For more information about Hearts for the Heartland, call (239) 464-5534.