4th annual Caring for Cullman concert set for Oct. 18


CULLMAN – On Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Cullman High School auditorium, Good Samaritan Health Clinic (GSHC) will host its fourth annual “Caring for Cullman” concert featuring Triumphant Quartet and the Wallace State Jazz Band. 

Triumphant Quartet (Eric Bennett, David Sutton, Clayton Inman and Scotty Inman) performed as part of the regular cast at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge from 2003 to 2008, then began touring all over the country.

Just this year, Triumphant Quartet won five fan awards from Singing News: Favorite Bass Singer: Eric Bennett, Favorite Album: “Thankful,” Favorite Song: “Chain Breaker,” Favorite Traditional Quartet and Favorite Artist.

Award-winning bass singer Bennett is a Cullman County native and graduate of West Point High School.  If you know him or get to meet him, ask him about his new granddaughter.  We’re sure he’ll be glad to share!

The Wallace State Jazz Band is known to local audiences for its annual Big Band Dance in Cullman, and performances at Oktoberfest.  The band also travels, having performed over the years at both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, Chicago and Las Vegas.  Earlier this year, the band performed in Branson, Missouri.

The Caring for Cullman Concert was the brainchild of GSHC Executive Director Jolanda Hutson, who explained, “I came up with the idea for the Caring for Cullman Concert for couple of reasons.  First of all, at the Good Samaritan Clinic we provide medical care to the Cullman community, and I wanted to have a concert and reach out to performers who have gone on to make it big in the entertainment industry, to come back to their hometown, to give back to their community.”

According to Hutson, the event averages approximately $28,000 per year.  With each uninsured patient costing the clinic an average of $500 per year to serve, this one event could provide services to 56 patients in the next year.

On Monday, Hutson shared, “We are excited to have Triumphant Quartet back for a fourth year as our headlining performers.  Each year, those in attendance have been encouraged and entertained by their music and lively personality on stage.

“Each year, we invite local performers to join us for the opening act.  When I approached Ricky Burks, director of bands and chairperson of the Fine and Performing Arts Department of Wallace State Community College, he was happy for the Wallace State Jazz Band to join the lineup.”

Dixie Gospel Caravan’s Mickey Bell to serve as Master of Ceremonies

Said Hutson, “Concert attendees are in for a special treat this year as Pastor Mickey Bell will be our guest emcee for the evening.”

Bell is lead pastor of Grace Church in Bessemer and is the DJ/host of the Dixie Gospel Caravan show on WXJC Radio in Birmingham.  As the former pianist for the southern gospel group The Nelons, he is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.  Bell is also a motivational speaker and comedian whose performances flow freely from humor to serious inspiration.

Bell said, “I jumped at the opportunity to partner with Good Samaritan to help the people of Cullman.  I love working with people who have a heart for their community; that is why I am so excited about this event on October 18th.”

GSHC medical director Dr. Jeremy Stidham

Dr. Jeremy Stidham, of Cullman Internal Medicine and Good Samaritan’s medical director, talked to The Tribune at last year’s event about what the clinic means for Cullman County.

“It’s a good bunch of folks that work at the clinic, and they do a good job for the patients,” he said.  “And in turn, that does a lot for our community, keeping these folks healthy who otherwise wouldn’t get any medical care at all.  That’s not only good for them, it’s good for all of us.  When patients are healthy to begin with, it makes them a lot easier to care for when they do get ill.

“That’s probably my favorite thing about the clinic, actually, is that we are able to keep folks who would otherwise have no care at all healthy enough to do well when they get sick.

“In the past two years, the clinic has opened its doors a little wider to patients who need help.  In years past, it’s been a little bit of a closed community, where we accepted fewer patients than we should have.  In recent years, we’ve been able to open those doors up to folks who may otherwise in the past not have been able to get into the clinic and that’s something we’re very proud of.”

Your support needed

Hutson concluded, “I am grateful to the businesses, churches and individuals who have supported our event through sponsorships and promotion.  Not only for this annual event, but also for the community’s support throughout the year.  As a nonprofit we rely in the support of the community to continue to provide medical care to the uninsured in Cullman County.

“I hope that you will make plans to join us.  I promise you will laugh and be inspired at this fun event.  And, best of all, you will be gratified in knowing that you are helping to make a difference in the lives of so many in our community who desperately need the medical services provided through Good Samaritan Clinic.”

Tickets will be available for $15 at the door, or from GSHC, Borden Family Pharmacy, Heritage Pharmacy of Dodge City, The Added Touch Too and Yates-Chance Christian Bookstore.  You can also order tickets online for $18 from www.goodsamaritancullman.com.

For details, call 256-255-5965.  If you are unable to attend but want to donate, visit the website above or call 256-775-1389, ext. 0; or mail donations to the clinic at 401 Arnold Street NE, Suite A Cullman, AL 35055.

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