As “father” to some amazing rescue animals over the years, I have come to be passionate about the important work being done by my fellow animal lovers at local shelters and rescue groups. I spend a lot of personal time volunteering and campaigning on behalf of the region’s homeless and abused animals.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am donating some celebrity items from my personal memorabilia collection for the event’s silent auction and will be volunteering as stage emcee for this Saturday’s “Pet Rock” event.
The rustic big barn at County Line Orchard (200 S. County Line Road) in Hobart is the site for “Pet Rock,” the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana’s family-friendly fundraiser featuring live performances by three regional music groups of various styles and a bounty of celebrity-signed items up for auction.
The Fabtones kick off the event at 6pm with a high energy set of nostalgic hits from the golden era of rock originally made famous by the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and other early pop sensations.
Grammy Award -winner Jim Peterik -- a founding member of both 1960s hit makers The Ides of March (“Vehicle,” “LA Goodbye”) and 1980s MTV-stars Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger,” “Burning Heart,” “The Search is Over”) – will perform a centerpiece concert set billed as Jim & friends, featuring several of the radio hits he wrote and recorded for those bands along with famous tunes he has written for other artists like .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Sammy Hagar.
Although Peterik’s last few concerts in Northwest Indiana have been unplugged “Storyteller Shows” as he calls them, this Saturday’s performance will be a full electric throw down. “There’s always stories, but for this show we’ll be plugged in and rocking out,” said Peterik, who also donated an electric guitar for the event’s silent auction autographed by himself and more than a dozen of his rock star pals.
Classic rock veterans Ripley Street close out “Pet Rock” with a set of classic rock covers (Beatles, Bill Withers, Grand Funk, Aretha Franklin, etc.) and select originals from their own two albums (“Ripley Street” and “Traffic Jam”).
“It takes a lot of money to operate our shelter and care for as many animals as we do on a day to day basis,” said Betty Clayton, Director of The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana. “We are able to continue doing what we do because of private donations and fundraisers like ‘Pet Rock’.”
Dozens of celebrity-signed items (guitars, drum heads, books, DVDs, t-shirts, photos, etc.) by famous music folks from all genres of music, including Paul Rodgers (Bad Company), Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride, the Oak Ridge Boys, Alice Cooper, Styx, Ted Nugent, Weird Al Yankovic, Cheap Trick, Dave Koz and others will be up for auction along with gift baskets and various items donated by local businesses.
Tickets: $50 (VIP), $20 (gen. admission) and $10 for kids 12 and under. A cash bar and food will be available. Doors open at 5pm. More info: (219) 938-3339, www.humanesocietynorthwestindiana.org, or www.facebook.com/Pet Rock 2014
• “The Rockin’ Sockin Dance Party” -- benefitting the Gary Rotary Club’s “Helping Hands Project” and the Miller Business Association’s “Miller Community Fund” -- will feature live music by popular club favorites The Crawpuppies on Saturday at the Gardner Center for the Arts (540 S. Lake Street) in Miller. Tickets are $35 (2 for $60) and include food and beer. The Helping Hands Project is a small classroom grants program for school teachers in Gary. More info: (219) 938-4566.
• Chicago metal group I Decline’s latest recording, "The Force Within Us," is the theme song for critically-acclaimed “Star Wars” fan documentary of the same name which focuses on the obsession “Star Wars” fans have with collectibles and costumes, while exploring why the fictional space saga affects some lives so deeply. The I Decline tune was mixed by studio wiz Tadpole (of Disturbed fame). Download it at: www.theforceamongus.com. More on the band: www.i-decline.com.
• Indie label Tate Music Group releases Midnight Mass’s debut CD -- “Violet” -- 11 tracks and via iTunes Store, Amazon.com, or directly from TateMusicGroup.com. Songs featured in the album include “Backseat Driver,” “Lil’ Girl,” and “Paranoid Boy.” Midnight Mass hails from Portage and has a long region history. Originally formed in the 1990s by father-and-son Randy McKay on bass and lead vocals and Ryan McKay on guitar and vocals, the band has morphed and taken on different members when Randy McKay left the band in the capable hands of son Ryan.
Email Tom Lounges at firstname.lastname@example.org