Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — Fairfield will host the 26th Annual Children’s Holiday Benefit Concert Saturday night, Dec. 11, to raise money for three charitable groups.
The event, organized by Fairfield resident Jonas Magram, will feature an ensemble of musicians and vocalists, including Magram, a vocalist and tenor saxophone player. The event will be conducted over Zoom from 7:30-9:15 p.m. that evening.
The group has set a goal of raising $20,000. The money raised will be split evenly among three groups: SIEDA Community Action, the Crisis Center & Women’s Shelter in Ottumwa, and Airline Ambassadors, a group dedicated to preventing human trafficking.
The concert has traditionally been held at Café Paradiso in Fairfield, but Magram opted to do it over Zoom because Café Paradiso is not hosting live events due to COVID.
The singers and musicians are all donating their time, and they will perform an assortment of holiday favorites and “golden age standards,” Magram said. Those who tune in will hear songs such as “Almost Like Being in Love,” “Route 66,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” and many more. Magram will perform a piece he wrote called “My Love is Everywhere.”
Joining Magram for the concert will be vocalist Jenny Sammons, bassist George Foster and pianists Steve Hillis and Jeff Shaffer.
“Jenny has a love voice and stage presence,” Magram said. “George is a remarkably talented bass player and has played in many bands. Steve is probably the best on jazz keyboard in Southeast Iowa and maybe all of Iowa.”
Magram said this will be Shaffer’s first time performing for the concert, while the others have done it several times.
“I didn’t realize Jeff was here and that he was so talented,” Magram said. “His particular talent lends itself perfectly to our Zoom presentation.”
Shelley Fulcher and her assistants always bake organic pies to sell during intermission, which have raised thousands of dollars. She’ll be doing those again. Magram noted that Foster is not just performing Saturday night but was also responsible for creating the poster.
“He’s an award-winning graphic designer, and it’s special to have him contribute,” Magram said.
Magram estimates the Holiday Benefit Concerts have raised about $300,000 since their inception more than a quarter century ago. He said he began doing them because his father performed in benefit concerts in San Francisco, and Magram wanted to continue that tradition. Magram said he feels a sense of duty to contribute to local and international charities.
“This would be nothing without the generosity of so many donors,” he said. “They’re the ones that deserve the credit.”
Those who wish to make a donation should make their check payable to SIEDA Community Action and write “holiday benefit” in the subject field. They can mail it to Magram at 600 S. Second St. in Fairfield, IA 52556.
To receive the free Zoom link to watch the concert, email: email@example.com.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.