Friday, April 26, 2013

For a Good Time and Cheap Date—WACM Festival of Arts

Psst!  Pal! Yeah you.  I want to talk to you.  You look like a sport.  I bet you’re on the prowl for a good time.  Have I got a deal for you!
Sunday evening—who ever has something hot on the burner Sunday evening—over at the Grace Lutheran Psalm House—you know the out at 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road here in Woodstock—they are having a shindig you won’t believe.  Get this—a Gumba dinner of lasagna, a floor show, and one of those silent auction things where you can walk off with arty crap for your house on the cheap.  And then they clear the decks for big deal concert with a massed choir from a bunch of Sunday morning pray stations, some bell ringers, even a jazzy little combo.
And ya know who gets the dough for all this?  An outfit called the Woodstock Area Community Ministry—WACM which sounds like “Whack ‘em” when you just say the letters.  They help homeless folks and those hard up for cash with their backs against the wall.  But they ain’t runnin’ no Sally con.  No siree! Nobody has to pray just right or listen to a parson’s rant to earn a flop, a meal, or a spot of emergency cash.  They’ll help ‘em out regardless with money from Direct Assistance, the PADS church sites where they have beds and grub, and the Day Time Drop-in Center where they can stay warm in the dead of Winter, grab a decent lunch, and even enjoy some friendly company with no one lookin’ down their long noses at ‘em.
What’s the tariff you ask?  Pal, you won’t believe it.  If I had any advance tickets left, which I ain’t you coulda gotten in to the whole shebang for a sawbuck, that’s right, ten lousy dollars.  But now you’ll have to get ‘em from the scalpers at the door who will ding you for $12 for four hours of fun.  Still the best offer you’ll get this year!  Or if you can’t make the dinner at 5, you can still catch the concert at 7 for only a fin, 5 clams.
I gotta piece of paper here that spells it all out.  You can get your choice of the lasagna with or without meat.  And while you are chowing down they will have what they call a cabaret show with The Frothy Boys, Lynn Wynn and Tim O’Brien, vocalist Cheryl Niemo, bluesman J.W. Rice and storyteller Zena McFadden.  A lotta those folks hang with the Unitarians, who are over in McHenry these days.
They’ll give you time to wander around and gawk at the art like paintings by Judy Reilly, Denise Hoover, Elaine Warnke, Tiffinni Commings, Clara Ford and Elaine Lameka; wood work by Darrell Rader and Howard Hoyt; bronze work by Jim Ford; and ceramic pieces by Gale Harris and Andy Lechner.
Then you can plop your dough down in the silent auction.  They got a grilling basket complete with grilling tools and a $30 gift certificate to Jones Locker Service; a dessert and wine  basket; a garden basket; a basket filled with children’s books; a popcorn movie night package featuring a variety of flavored popcorn, candy and caramel apples; a chocolate basket; massage packages; home décor items; gym memberships; gift certificates to local restaurants; a one-year subscription to The Independent along with tote and mug; and some of the art work on display.  Bet you could find something you wanna take home.
Then there is the main show.  That choir will have 90 voices from the 10 worship houses that make up WACM under the direction of Grace Lutheran’s Ron Fredricksen.  That includes the 20 some odd voiced of the UU Congregation in McHenry under the direction Tom Steffens which will be featured.  The First Presbyterian Church of Woodstock’s Hootenanny Band will lead a sing-along presentation of old-time hymns with a New Orleans feel. And there will be a bell choir, too!
Ya say yer sold?  Great!  I’ll see ya there.

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