DeKALB – Local residents got their country on at Gary Mullis’ annual charity concert for school supplies.
Since 2008, Mullis – a musician in his own right – has organized and hosted a charity concert at The House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway, in DeKalb during the summer. The price of admission is a school supply that will be donated to The Salvation Army of DeKalb.
“I just like doing it,” Mullis said. “It’s a lot of fun to get people together and play music and do something like this.”
The concerts Mullis hosts – which feature local country, bluegrass and gospel artists – have become a staple for The Salvation Army’s charitable efforts. In December, Mullis will put on his 44th annual Toys for Tots charity concert for The Salvation Army.
“The kids need a lot of backpacks,” Mullis said. “The Salvation Army distributes to the school kids. It’s a big help.”
Sunday was the first time Ron Holm has played in Mullis’ charity concert. He said Mullis approached him after a show to play.
Holm, a guitarist and singer, was joined onstage by his friends and fellow musicians Dave Kolars and John Bishoff.
Holm and his wife are retired school teachers, and he said they’ve seen firsthand the poverty that exists in the public school system.
“Most of us aren’t really aware of it unless we’re there,” Holm said. “My wife taught public school for four decades, and she would tell stories of these kids who would come to school, and they literally do not have money for school supplies. You can imagine what a challenge that turns out to be.”