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Trio of local performers benefits Westminster Presbyterian's Camp Henry

A musical evening with Ralston, Karisa and Drew at Wealthy Theater benefits Camp Henry, a ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Wealthy Theater hosts benefit for Westiminster Presbyterian's Camp Henry

Wealthy Theater hosts benefit for Westiminster Presbyterian's Camp Henry /Carol Lautenbach

Underwriting support from:

Relationships with the land and with others was the thematic thread running through the August 20 Camp Henry benefit concert featuring the music of a trio of local performers. Ralston Bowles, Karisa Wilson and Drew Nelson were the featured artists at Wealthy Theater. They entertained a crowd of about 150, whose contributions went to support scholarships for nearly a third of the 1200 campers who visit the 74-year-old camp north of Newaygo each summer. The camp is a ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Gerry Barnaby emceed the evening event. He kicked things off by honoring Bea Idema, a local philanthropist. Her husband's father Henry provided financial assistance when the idea of a lakeside retreat was just a dream. Her own family's contributions over the years developed the camp.

After a short video of what Camp Henry looks like today, the music began. All three performers remained on stage throughout the concert, each taking turns singing and supporting each other's performance with improvised harmonies. Honoring the camp spirit, the three performers ended the concert by leading the crowd in singing choruses of "This Land is Your Land" punctuated by Nelson's inventive stanzas about Camp Henry.

Concert-goers supported the camp through their ticket purchases. Ron and Jeannine Lemmon of Patriot Realty, Applause Catering and Events, John Preston and Melissa VanderZyden, Barnes and Thornburg Attorneys and Practice Groups, Martha's Vineyard, and Las Vegas Cheesecake Company provided the venue, performance, and amenities that made the event a celebration. The Lemmons purchased the concert 18 months ago through a WYCE auction event, and, as Jeannine said, they wondered how to "leverage this into something to benefit others."  Their generous spirit was affirmed by Joel Schultze, member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the elder liaison for the Camp Henry ministry. Tickets for the event were $15.00 in advance, and 45 VIP tickets were sold for $40.00 each.  All told, the generosity of others net close to $3000.00 for Camp Henry scholarships, continuing a legacy that began generations ago.

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