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June 25, 2019

12/8/2016 7:29:00 AM
Nashville recording artist to perform Christmas show to benefit veterans

Kayla Thomason
Feature Writer

Nashville Recording Artist Red Higgins will present a Classic Country Christmas Show to benefit veterans starting at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Tomahawk High School.

Higgins told the River News he reached out to VFW Post 2687 to see if they were interested in having a show.

"I had heard Gerry Dvorak (commander of the VFW Post 2687) on the radio and he was talking about the Fall Ride and I thought it was a worthwhile cause for the Honor Flight," Higgins said.

Dvorak was pleased to have the opportunity to try something new to raise funds for veterans.

"I thought (the concert) was new and interesting because it's something we've never done as a VFW before, and we're always looking for new and innovative ways to reach out to the public for funds for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight and Wounded Warrior in Action Foundation," he said.

This is the first time Higgins has held a concert to benefit the Wounded Warrior in Action Foundation, and he is pleased to have learned about them.

"Gerry had talked to me about it," Higgins said. "I was not aware of the foundation before he talked to me and he asked what I thought and I thought that was great."

Higgins has performed benefit concerts for the past seven years. The first five concerts benefited food pantries while proceeds from last two years have gone to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

The show runs about two hours long, is family-friendly. The Christmas songs to be performed were written by country artists such as Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Attendees can expect to hear Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas," Jim Reeves' "An Old Christmas Card" and "Senior Santa Claus," Charley Pride's "Christmas in My Hometown," "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" and more.

"It's a good show, it's well- rounded, we cover just about anybody from the past," he said.

The concert will wrap up with one of Higgins' own songs that references Christmas.

Dvorak has listened to Higgin's CD and watched the DVD and said Red Higgins sounds a lot like Johnny Cash, and Higgins' wife, Lisa Marie, sounds similar to June Carter Cash.

Higgins is hoping for a great turnout.

"This certainly does go for a good cause," Higgins said.

"I feel very strongly about doing this for the vets," he added.

He mentioned that during World War I and II and the Korean War the veterans were welcomed back with open arms. The Vietnam War was different.

"The Vietnam era came around and they were not very well received," he said.

He was a young boy during that time, and he remembers the treatment the veterans received, and it stuck with him.

"I remember how those guys were treated," he said. "A lot of them gave their lives for this country and if anybody is going to go out and see a show for a worthy cause this is probably one of the best causes."

Dvorak can feel Higgins' passion for veterans.

"He's very much involved in raising funds for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight," Dvorak said. "He really believes in it."

Higgins is from the Medford area, and the rest of the band is also from Wisconsin.

Lisa Marie, raised in Willard, plays rhythm guitar and sings. Kevin Bixby of Rhinelander will be on drums. Chad Karnitz of Wisconsin Rapids will play lead guitar and steel guitar. Kevin Hall of Medford will play base on the keyboard and leads on the piano.

There will be no food or drink in the auditorium, but after the concert Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be there to hand out goodies to the children.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. All ticket proceeds benefit the Never Forgotten Honor Flight and the Wounded Warrior in Action Foundation.

Tickets may be purchased at the following Tomahawk area businesses: WJJQ, Tomahawk Leader, River Valley State Bank, Tomahawk Community Bank, Park City Credit Union and their annex, Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce and the Tomahawk VFW.

The VFW is open 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For more information, call the VFW at (715) 453-0854 or Dvorak at (715) 612-2373.

Kayla Breese may be reached at

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