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Christian concert raises funds and spirits in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
jstultz@pratttribune.com
Members of the First Southern Baptist Church Worship Band sing praise songs during an open-air gospel concert Sunday evening in Pratt. The concert was held to raise money for small businesses in Pratt that are struggling to survive through coronavirus shutdowns.

More than 70 citizens of Pratt and the surrounding area gathered at Jack Ewing Park on Sunday evening in Pratt to enjoy some outdoor gospel music and raise money for Pratt small businesses.

“I am so thankful for all who came out of their own free will tonight to support us,” said co-event organizer Lisa Rawlings of Creative Restorations. “It means so much to us.”

Two local Christian bands provided music for the open-air concert. The first to perform was the First Southern Baptist Church Worship Band, the second Abundant Harvest Church of the Nazarene’s On the Hill.

Audience members lounged in lawn chairs or on blankets, many singing along with the uplifting music.

Leonard Pohl, also a co-organizer of the event said the opportunity to make use of the beautiful Jack Ewing Park stage area for such an event would have made the namesake very happy.

“When I heard of plans to have a support concert like this, I knew this was the perfect place to do it,” Pohl said.

Sales of Small Business Strong t-shirts and suggested donations netted $630 which will be divided equally among 18 participating small business owners in Pratt. That amount will be added to more than $3,200 which has already been raised through sales of Small Business Strong t-shirts.

Tickets were given out to all in attendance and prizes randomly drawn, donated by some of the small businesses supported in the fundraiser. More than 20 individuals went home with Chamber Bucks certificates, coupons to be used Club D’Est, the Barron Theater, Legacy Bank, Simply Southwest and Turquoise Ranch. BTI had doubled some of the coupons with matching-support donations.

“I’ve never won something like this,” said concert attendee Natalie Miller. “I can’t wait to see where I can use my Chamber Bucks.”

The evening event ended with a unifying rendition of “God Bless America” led by both music groups together on stage, and the audience stood in appreciation of the moment.