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Lions bring back singers to benefit area needy

"The Memories" are returning for their second annual holiday concert in Ellsworth this month, hosted by the local Lions club.

The Menomonie-based singing duo will perform in concert Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Ellsworth High School Cafetorium, according to organizer Jay Nesseth of the Lions.

Proceeds from the event are again designated for the Pierce County Food Shelf and the Gift Box program, Nesseth said Wednesday. A change this year is there won't be a discount on admission for concert goers who donate a non-perishable food item or toy, but instead ticket prices will be kept reasonable and the public is invited to contribute such items anyway, if they wish, he said.

"How many places can a family be taken for an inexpensive night of entertainment while helping a lot of people?" he said.

The performance mixing music and humor by Warren Petryk and Tim Stevens drew an audience of approximately 250 here last year, Nesseth said. The pair have entertained coast-to-coast for over 30 years, their past publicity states. They apply unique harmonies to memorable songs and are described as "true professionals."

Friends since elementary school, Petryk and Stevens have shared stages with Barbara Mandrell, "The Oak Ridge Boys," "Alabama," Ricky Nelson and others, the publicity states. They've performed at seven state fairs, over 400 county fairs and city festivals, Disneyland, major corporate events, holiday concerts, annual meetings and banquets.

With a tightening economy, higher foreclosure rate and difficult budgeting, Nesseth said the need to help deserving people is greater than ever.

"More and more families are struggling," said the originator of the local concert. His wife, Stacy, continues to volunteer with the Gift Box program, he noted.

Local businesses have been receptive to sponsoring "The Memories" for another year, he said. The holiday-type program is scheduled to last approximately an hour-and-a-half, and include an intermission.

Tickets will be available at the door, though advance sales are presently underway at M&I Bank, Bank Mutual, Associated Bank, Village Pharmacy, Hinck's Economart and Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services, he said.