Mission with Musical Memories: Gary 60s 'Review' a look back at great music for a great cause

2012-08-03T00:00:00Z Mission with Musical Memories: Gary 60s 'Review' a look back at great music for a great causeBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Even though Gary has hosted Nostalgia Weekend for 25 years, what's old can also be new, according to Rep. Vernon Smith, one of the event's organizers.

On Aug. 10, music, dancing and comedy saluting the 1960s take center stage at the first "60s 'Review' at the Glen," the result of a team planning mission by Smith working with the Froebel Park Committee, the African American Achievers Youth Corps Inc. and the Froebel Park Classes of 1962-63.

The festival is 7 p.m. at the Glen Theatre, 20 W. Ridge Road, in Gary.

"We wanted to dream up something fun, while also helping raise money for Froebel Park," Smith said. "Doing a production that salutes great entertainment is a perfect fit."

The roster of performances includes Kruciial Kreatiionz Dancers, comedy by Billie Jean Jackson, classic songs of the 1960s sung by Ka De' Pe, saxophone sensation Michael Turner and sets by the 11th Avenue Band.

"All of our performers know how important this event is to raise money to keep improving and maintaining this park," Smith said.

"So far, we have completed three of the shelter spaces, built eight monuments, planted shrubbery, restored the track and installed a new set of swings."

Smith said the mission to restore Froebel Community Park, at 15th and Madison streets, is part of a $90,000 campaign.

"We've raised about $20,000 of the needed funds so far," he said.

"But even just the annual costs of the park's upkeep is a responsibility many people don't realize comes to quite an investment. Every time we just mow the grass, it's $350."

And one of the ultimate future goals is to make sure the park boasts basketball courts to attract youth.

Smith said Michael Turner's performance will be part of the stage headlining highlight for the new event.

Turner, who served his country while playing in the 2nd Marine Division Band, started his musical career playing in his sophomore year at Chicago Vocational High School before musical studies at Grambling State University where he performed in the Tiger Marching Band and Jazz Band.

Today, in addition to traveling internationally to Brazil and Germany to appear on stage, he has performed in more than 30 states in the United States.

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