CLINTON — Raising funds for charity organizations can sometimes be a difficult and overwhelming task, but Don Tegeler has managed to pair those fund-raising efforts with a musical showcase for the community.
The third annual Tegeler Music Benefit Concert will take place Labor Day weekend, and this year's proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project to benefit war veterans all across the United States.
When Don and his wife, Marcia, originally started planning the concert event, they had no idea of the outpouring of support they would receive.
"Planning for the first year took about three weeks and we had 13 bands come play," Tegeler said. "This year it's gotten so big we had to form a committee."
Tegeler and his committee of volunteers have been planning this year's event since the beginning of spring, organizing 20 bands to perform over the course of two days.
The concert series will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Riverview Park Bandshell and will feature a number of local artists performing a wide variety of music.
Sunday's schedule will begin at noon. It will not only feature a wide range of musical talent, but also a live auction at 6:30 p.m.
"Sunday will be really exciting because we have a number of celebrity music items to auction off to raise money for the cause," Tegeler said.
This is the first year the group has organized a live auction and Tegeler feels it is going to bring bigger crowds and raise more money than the concert has in previous years.
The live auction came to existence thanks to the work of Ken Brandt, former Nashville resident who spent more than 15 years in the music business.
Brandt moved to the area three years ago after his work in Nashville and got to know Tegeler through his business, Tegeler Music.
"I started shopping at Tegeler and kind of got to know those guys and found out about the concert," Brandt said. "Once I found out they were working with the Wounded Warrior Project, I had to get involved."
While Brandt lived in Nashville he worked with an organization known as Music Cares that provides counseling for veterans of war. He has continued that work since moving to Clinton and recently received his certification as an addiction counselor and assessment specialist.
Because of the passion Brandt has for the Wounded Warrior Project, he reached out to several of his Nashville contacts for donations to the Tegeler Music Benefit Concert.
"As soon as I started making contacts in Nashville, they've just jumped on board sending all kinds of stuff to us for the auction," Brandt said.
Some of the items to be auctioned off on Sunday include limited-edition, signed memorabilia from artists like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith and Shania Twain. Also to be auctioned Sunday is a signed acoustic guitar from legendary rock and roll star Alice Cooper.
According to Tegeler, last year's benefit concert raised $5,400 for the fight against multiple sclerosis and he expects, because of the auction, this year's concert will exceed that amount substantially.
He said he is excited for the growth the concert has gained over the last three years and expects that growth to continue.
"I had no idea it would grow to where it is now," Tegeler said. "I think it's great. Whatever we can do to help people and do some good for a non-profit group, we're going to do it."