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Little Theatre, Big Show 

If you aren't familiar with the BBC show Doctor Who, the main character flies through time and space in what is known as a T.A.R.D.I.S. We won't get into what the letters stand for, but the "vehicle" takes on the form of on old police box. However, the inside is somewhat of a wonder. As it is pointed out in the show on more than one occasion, "It is bigger on the inside."

Moundsville, WV has its own "T.A.R.D.I.S." in its historic Strand Theatre. It takes on the form of a small theatre, but it seems so much bigger on the inside. It is a somewhat small theatre, boasting a whole 400 seats. However, the little theatre is capable of holding big shows. The lighting is more than sufficient, and the sound system has the ability to satisfy some of the biggest names in Nashville's Bluegrass family. The theatre itself just has a comfortable feel to it.

This past Saturday, BMEF produced another benefit concert that showcased Crandall Creek and headliner, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne. Crandall Creek has recently gone through a couple changes. The members that have moved on are missed and will be forever in the hearts of the band members left behind, but fans are also amazed by the new additions that have come to join the family. Despite having members who are new to the mix, Crandall Creek was able to perform the beloved songs their fans expect to hear with the same quality and professionalism they have always presented.It is no wonder Alan Bibey and Grasstowne have won multiple awards and are one of the hottest bluegrass bands in Nashville at this time. Their performance was nothing short of amazingly perfect. Their sound is so crisp and clear, and anyone can tell by the pure joy in each one of the band members smiles as they are playing their songs, they are doing what they love. Their second set included a special song that should touch the hearts of anyone connected to Marshall County, WV. They played a song Alan Bibey did with the band IIIrd Time Out called Moundsville Pen.Not all bands are quite so accommodating, but they even left time at the end to do one of our favorite things at our concerts. They gave the audience the treat of two fun-filled songs with both bands on stage playing together. The energy of each band during their sets is one thing, but this is where the "T.A.R.D.I.S." probably struggled. The energy that came from its stage with both bands playing together is something that would be hard to contain.Thank you to Alan Bibey and Grasstowne and Crandall Creek for an amazing night. Thank you to our sponsors, Williams Energy and Main Street Bank, for your generosity. Without you these shows could not happen. Thank you to Josh Blakemore and Andy Blum for the sound and Mark Henthorn for the lighting. Thank you to those who donated items for the silent auction. Thank you to those of you who are still bringing in nonperishable food items. Thank you to those of you who came out in support of our show and our cause.

Finally, thank you to the volunteers at Helping Heroes for the work you do with our country's veterans. Of course, all of our proceeds go to a good cause. We hope the donation made to Helping Heroes will be of great benefit.

Everyone watch for details coming soon about our next event scheduled for November 17th. We hope to see you there!

Biting At The Bit 

BMEF loves little more than Pickin' And A Givin'. Our last concert was in July. Our next concert will be October 6th at 7:00. So you can imagine we are having a hard time waiting for the day to come.

Not only are we excited to do what we do, we are excited about the show that will be happening. Our headliner that evening will be Alan Bibey and Grasstowne. This is a great band with a lot of energy. That will work well for concert goers, especially if you have been to one of our previous concerts. Alan Bibey and Grasstowne and our dearly loved, high-energy Crandall Creek opening the show should get everyone's adrenaline pumping for sure. If you would like to get a little preview of our headliner, go to www.grasstowne.com.

Of course, the night will be fun, but you know there is always a good cause for our shows. The proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction being held during the concert will be donated to the veterans organization Helping Heroes. Like every show, we will also be collecting nonperishable food items at the door for Feeding Body and Soul Community Kitchen.

Please come out and join us and drag a friend along with you. You can't go wrong with a fun, inexpensive evening out that helps others!

Mini Only In Name 

If you didn't catch it, this past Friday we had somewhat of a "Mini Bluegrass Fest". If you did catch it, you know there was nothing mini about it! The Roadhog Band started us out with an exciting set filled with some great tunes, including some Johnny Cash. They are a local band out of Valley Grove, WV. Make sure you check them out and keep up with them at www.facebook.com/theroadhogband/. We can't thank you fellows enough for kicking our night off right.Proudly following The Roadhog Band was, our very own, Crandall Creek. By now, anyone who sees our webpage should know exactly who Crandall Creek is. They are a permanent fixture in our concerts. As has been stated before, this band gets better and better each show. Word has it, they are picking up more and more shows in a wider area. If you haven't been able to see them because Moundsville is too far for you to go, check out their new website at www.crandallcreekband.com and check out their upcoming events.Finally, the night was capped off with one of our favorite bands to book for our shows, The Jakob's Ferry Stragglers. Their concerts are always entertaining. The entire band is made up of the nicest, down-to-earth people you could ever hope to meet. Coupled with their incredible talent and Libby's list of "jokes for days", they are sure to give you your money's worth and then some. We also got to witness a special event. Front man, Gary Antol had the distinct pleasure of having his daughter, Debra Sue, perform on stage with him for the first time, and guess what! The girl can sing! Thank you for allowing us to share in that moment. You can keep up with The Jakob's Ferry Stragglers and order their new album on their website at www.jakobsferry.com.We would like to thank Josh Blakemore for the incredible job of mixing the sound for all of our concerts, and Ryan Yanik for the great job on our lighting and video background. Also, we want to thank Suzanne Polinski, host and DJ of "My Roots Are Showing" radio show on 107.1 WEJP, for emceeing each of our events.

Of course our shows couldn't go on without our sponsors. We want to give a huge thank you to Jimmy Johns of the Highlands, Main Street Bank of Moundsville, and Kim McCluskey. We want you all to know that you are noticed making a difference in our community! We would also like to recognize, Shane Walters and Lamar Advertising for what you do for us.

Finally, we thank our audience. These nights are always a good time, but without your support, we wouldn't be giving any proceeds to those in need in our community. You should know that the money you spent for a fun time out on the town is going to help others who are in the fight for their lives against cancer. That money is going to be donated to WVU-Reynolds Memorial Hospital Cancer Resource Center. Our audiences make a difference. We hope to see you at the next show on October 6th with Alan Bibey and Crandall Creek, as we continue "Pickin' And A Givin'"...

A Special Summer Event 

We love putting on our concerts, and we love the concept of "Pickin' And A Givin'". We regret that we had nothing in the month of June. So, to make up for it, we have planned a special "mini Bluegrass fest" for the month of July! Mark your calendars, set a reminder in your phones, tie a string around a finger, because you don't want to miss this one. July 13 at 6:00 pm at the Strand Theatre we are having three bands for your enjoyment. As usual, our very own Crandall Creek will be opening up the show. Sandwiched in the middle is a wonderful, local favorite act out of Valley Grove, WV, The Roadhog Band. Finally, our headliner will be the one and only Jakob's Ferry Stragglers.


As always, our "Pickin' And A Givin'" concert series will be donating the proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction items to a special cause. We are proud to announce that this concert will raise money for WVU Medicine-Reynold's Memorial Hospital Cancer Resource Center. This organization provides gas cards to cancer patients who have little to no funds to get them to and from their treatments at the hospitals.

Please remember that we are still trying to help out Feeding Body And Soul Community Kitchen. We ask that you bring a nonperishable food item to be collected at the door. They serve many meals every month and can always use the help.

Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. This is a perfect way to celebrate and honor the lives of those we have lost, of those who have survived, and those who are currently in the battle. Come out and join us for a great night with a great cause!

You shop. Amazon gives. 

There aren't many people who don't shop on Amazon.com. Did you know that there is a way to get Amazon to give a portion of what you spend to a charity of your choice? If you go to www.smile.amazon.com and sign in with your normal Amazon account information, you can choose the organization that they will give 0.5% of the price of qualifying purchases to that organization.

BMEF has registered to be one of the choices to give to! We ask that our friends and fans of Crandall Creek consider selecting us as the recipient of that donation. We want to get the word out to as many people as possible. So share, share, share! Even if people choose a different organization, it only makes sense to shop Amazon this way.

Next time you want to shop Amazon, go to:

www.smile.amazon.com

Sign in with your Amazon account

Choose your charity (We hope we can get some help)

And enjoy a new way of Pickin' and a Givin'!

Breathe A Little Easier 

If you were in attendance at last night's concert, thank you. The money you paid for your tickets, the money from the auction items, and a generous percentage of sales of jewelry by Kathy Sacra Anderson is going to be on its way to the Black Lung Clinic at Cabin Creek Health Systems in Dawes, WV. We are proud to stand by our neighbors and friends who put their health and lives on the line working in the coal mines.

If you have ever seen Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys in concert, you know it is certain to be a great show. Donna's music and lyrics grab your attention like few acts can. Thank you, Donna, for coming back again and again. Moundsville, WV loves you! If you haven't seen Donna and her band yet, don't let another opportunity pass you by. Luckily, you will get the chance again when they come back on December 8 to perform their Christmas show.If you aren't sure you believe Donna's shows can be as good as we say they are, just look at what happened in the sky outside the Strand Theatre when she took the stage...Whether they are headlining or opening for another band, Crandall Creek continues to bloom. Their sound keeps getting tighter, and their original selections continue to expand and wow the audiences. We look forward to seeing much more of them in the near future.As great as all of that was, nothing was a touching as when the show opened with the honor of having 97 year old WWII veteran George "Singing George" Bennett gracing the audience with his rendition of "You Are My Sunshine". Thank you, sir, for the honor and your service. We can NEVER repay you.Keep your eyes and ears out for information for our next show. Keep the date of July, 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the forefront of your mind. That night will be a mini Bluegrass festival with three bands, The Jakob's Ferry Stragglers, The Roadhog band, and Crandall Creek. Spread the word. It will be for a good cause as always, and we'll have a good time...Pickin' and a Givin'!

Helping Our Coal Miners 

It is just about time again! We are gearing up for another fun filled Bluegrass kind of "Pickin' And And A Givin'" kind of night, and she is back folks! Donna Ulisse will be here on May 19th to grace us with her music that drives one's imagination like few can. The doors to the Strand Theatre will open at 6:00 p.m., and the show starts at 7:00. Opening the show with their high-energy style will be, none other than Moundsville's own, Crandall Creek.

We are pleased to announce that proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction will be given to the Black Lung Clinic at Cabin Creek Health Systems in Dawes, WV. We stand proud with our hard working men and women of our great state and those who surround us. Please come out in support of our efforts, bring a friend, and have a wonderful fun filled evening!

Welcome Back, Alecia! 

After taking a few years off, Alecia Nugent returned to the scene on April 28, 2018. One would never know she ever took a day off. The first stop on her new tour - The Strand Theatre in Moundsville, West Virginia. It truly was an incredible show! With her band of amazing musicians and her sweet but powerful voice, Alicia truly does live up to the title of "Hillbilly Goddess." Thank you, Alecia for letting BMEF and the Strand Theatre be a part of your return! We pray for a successful continuation of your music career.Crandall Creek from Moundsville, West Virginia opened the show once again. They are always a quality show, but this night was something special. Their performances are becoming more tight each time they play. There is no reason this band cannot play in Nashville. Again, they graced the audience with some songs of their own and some old favorites. They are a fantastic group of musicians and songwriters. You can't say enough nice things about them!

One of the perks of having a local band that plays the same venue time and again is the ability to let others get involved. Crandall Creek's performance included special appearances by the singing eye doctor, Eddie McDonald, an incredible young girl of 12 years old, Jariel Henthorn, and Scott Black, the fiddle player of Cabin Fever String Band, doing some clog dancing.

We want to give a big thank you to our sponsors, Williams Energy, Main Street Bank, and Nana's Pizza and Pie. We couldn't do this without your help! Because of your generosity, we are able provide the public a quality evening of entertainment and give to organizations like Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, an organization that teaches veterans with disabilities and PTSD how to fly fish.

Another thank you goes to all of our silent auction donors. There were too many to list! We are seeing more and more items donated each show. It's nice to see local businesses eager to help and donate for a good cause!

Finally, we want to thank the members of our audiences. You continue to bring in your non-perishable food donations for the Feeding Body and Soul community kitchen in Moundsville. Together, we've been able to donate over 4,000 food items to the kitchen. It really makes a difference. Thank you so much!

Don't forget to check out the Strand Theatre of other upcoming shows. You can find them on Facebook under Strand Theatre Preservation Society. One of the shows you will find is BMEF's next show on May 19 with returning artist Donna Ulisse. See you there!

 

It Feels Great! 

Once again we had a successful night, and because of our efforts and your support, we were able to present another check to another great organization. On April 12th, founder and director of BMEF, Jerry Andrews, personally visited Miracles Happen to present the check and was invited to be a guest speaker while he was there.We love Bluegrass music, and we love helping others in need. That is why you will always find BMEF striving toward Pickin' and a Givin'! We look forward to our next event on April 28th with Nashville's "Hillbilly Goddess", Alecia Nugent. We pray for your support, because the more people that come to our concerts, the more we can give to our beneficiaries. See you all there!

We're On A Roll! 

We are in a new month. So, that can mean only one thing...There is another concert coming up at the Strand Theatre in Moundsville, WV! On April 28 at 6:30 p.m., we will open the doors to enjoy another Bluegrass filled evening (show starts at 7:00). However, this one is a special one. Nashville's "Hillbilly Goddess", Alecia Nugent, is hitting the road again after taking a break for a few years. We are excited to say that our show will kick off her new tour!Of coarse, it wouldn't be a proper BMEF concert without a few other components. As always, Crandall Creek will be the show's opener. There is always a good cause that our proceeds are donated to. This show will benefit Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, an organization that helps veterans who have been wounded or suffer from PTSD. There will be another silent auction to help boost the amount of our proceeds. Finally, we will be collecting nonperishable food items at the door to give to Feeding Body and Soul Community Kitchen. Come on out and join us as we are PICKIN' AND A GIVIN'!!!