Will we ever tire of all this ‘community’ stuff, of people around here looking out for each other, of great events serving to accomplish great things through great local organizations? “We think not,” as the book says … Tri-Lakes altruism-on-parade Exhibit No. 11,731 would be the non-contact Battle of the Bands on April 23 at Boot Barn Hall, which featured 2021 Colorado Springs Gazette Best of the Springs award winners WireWood Station and Ashtōnz in an epic musical throwdown in support of Tri-Lakes Cares.

“This wasn’t really a battle at all — we’re friends and musical allies, and we always have a great time working together,” says WireWood Station spokes-fiddler Michelle Edwards of Woodmoor. “This is one of the greatest music venues in Colorado, and it doesn’t get any better than playing here on behalf of a truly worthy charity.” Michelle’s musical resumé includes performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, along with residencies in the bands of Andy Williams, Wayne Newton and Tony Orlando. (We got the real deal right here in our midst, in other words.)

The April 23 event raised over $7,000 for the Monument-based Tri-Lakes Cares, which has helped the community to the tune of over $5 million in goods and services provided to area residents in need since 2014. This timely gift was accomplished through the generosity of our band sponsors (Ryan Graham Homes, Amy Yocom-Vos of the Fox Mortgage Team and Dr. Vicki Wynn’s Timberview Animal Hospital), whose kick-ins made it possible for Boot Barn Hall to donate half the proceeds from each ticket sold to TLC.

The evening also served as one more slice of “the old normal,” with loosened crowd restrictions making for a packed (and grateful) house. “To see every table full tonight is absolutely fantastic,” says BBH head honcho J.W. Roth of Black Forest. “This is how it ought to be around here. A bunch of happy people enjoying an evening of entertainment and fellowship … and actually being able to see each other’s smiling faces! We’re thrilled with the turnout and proud to be able to do this on behalf of Tri-Lakes Cares. Haley Chapin and the crew there are an indispensable asset to the community.”

And, of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete — not in Ash-land, anyway — without musical monkeyshines of one form or another ensuing at some point in the proceedings. Our friend Rich Schur of Schur Success Realty, Auction and Appraisal (located next door to Arlene’s Beans, which is all the excuse one needs to pop in on Rich and Shannon at around lunchtime) was looking to contribute his auctioneering expertise to the fundraising mix, and I needed a haircut. Why not kill two birds while scaring up a few Benjamins in the process?

A few minutes and a few generous audience-bids later, and voila! Our official Mullet Removal Sponsorship was secured by a friend who shall remain anonymous (we’ll give you one clue, though: his wife’s name is Terri and his last name rhymes with Easter), and Tri-Lakes Cares had another $500 in hand as a result of this community-beautification effort. Thanks to Rich and our bidders for making this ‘wild hair’ worthwhile, and to Marissa for the onstage tonsorial ministrations. And don’t worry, mullet-lovers: my “Joe Dirt” look will be back in time for another shearing around July 4 … hide the women and children (but not the scissors)!

Charlie Searle has lived in Monument since 1994 and is active in a variety of pursuits in the Tri-Lakes area, as his tagline “Meat, Motors, Music, Media” attests. Contact Charlie at AlongTheDivide@pikespeaknewspapers.com.

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