By Gary Nelson
Cumberland County commissioners serving on the building and grounds committee approved the use of the arena at the Cumberland County Community Complex at no charge for a day of music to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
Lynn Isham of Crossville attended the building and grounds committee meeting last week and requested permission for use of the facility from commissioners.
“This is for a very worthy cause. There are no profits made by anyone. These are going to be all volunteers and no musicians at this event are going to be paid. All of the money raised is going to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Isham said.
According to the plan, the benefit concert will start around 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, and will continue until approximately 6 p.m. The concert will feature all types of music including bluegrass, gospel, country and rock.
“Working together like this we can help save a child’s life,” Isham said.
The only debate commissioners had was weather to rent the facility to the group for $200, which is half the cost of renting the arena at the Community Complex for one day, or allowing them to use the arena at no cost.
Roy Turner, 7th District commissioner, made a motion to allow the group to use the facility at half the cost and allow them use of the facility, annually, at half cost.
Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner, said he had a problem with including future bookings on a permanent basis.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing that they are doing, but I don’t think it should be permanent and go on a year-to-year basis like the other groups,” Sabine said.
Sabine said he supported allowing them to use the facility for $200, which is what the group had requested.
“This event’s going to be in the day, right? They won’t need any lighting and that’s what’s expensive. I don’t see an issue with giving it to them. It’s not like a group that’s coming in here and making a profit, or making money on this. It all goes to the hospital for kids,” Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner, said.
Harvel currently is not on the committee, but attended the meeting.
Donnie Moody, Community Complex manager, said there is an NRA banquet scheduled later that night at the other end of the facility, but it would not interfere.
The group voted on Turner’s motion and it failed.
Caroline Knight, 2nd District commissioner, then made a motion to allow them to use the arena at the Community Complex at no charge for the event. Charles Seiber, 4th District commissioner, supported the motion and it passed with only one member, Sabine, voting no.