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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • YMCA sponsoring anniversary concert

  • It’s better to wait and do something right, than rush and have it be less than memorable. That’s the philosophy of the YMCA of Hannibal and explains why the 100th anniversary concert it is planning is actually occurring in year 101.


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  • It’s better to wait and do something right, than rush and have it be less than memorable. That’s the philosophy of the YMCA of Hannibal and explains why the 100th anniversary concert it is planning is actually occurring in year 101.
    “The Y was actually started in 1911,” said Pete Friesen, YMCA executive director. “We decided to wait until this year (to host the concert) so we could put it all together.”
    The concert is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 24, at Clemens Field. The feature group will be the Marshall Tucker Band, a Southern rock band that was originally formed in 1972. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music credits the band with helping create the Southern rock genre in the early 1970s through its blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country and gospel.
    Since it released its first studio album in 1973, the group has had two platinum (Carolina Dreams) and five gold albums. Its Greatest Hits album, released in 1978, also went platinum.
    The band’s most popular single - “Heard It in a Love Song” - rose to No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1977. It reached No. 5 in RPM magazine’s rankings.
    “It’s one of my favorite bands,” said Friesen.
    The possibility of bringing in a band was discussed last year, but things didn’t come together, according to Friesen.
    “My board president, Cindy Plowman, wanted to do something special to say ‘thank you’ to Hannibal,” he said.
    A concert committee consisting of Cindy Plowman, Christina Maune, Wendy Harrington, Sue Minor, Clare Blase, John Ryan Bareis, John and Judy Civitate, and Amelia Plowman considered a number of different groups.
    “Some were very pricey, but we wanted to keep tickets in the $20 to $30 range, rather than have to charge $40, $50 or $60. Ultimately the Marshall Tucker Band was the one we went after,” said Friesen.
    Field tickets are on sale for $37 while stadium seating costs $27.
    “There will not be a bad seat in the house,” said Friesen, explaining that the stage will be set up on the ball diamond’s infield between the pitcher’s mound and second base.
    Only 1,600 tickets will be sold.
    “I hope people will jump on it soon because when the tickets are gone, they’re gone,” said Friesen.
    Tickets are available online at YMCAofHannibal.org or can be purchased at the YMCA of Hannibal.
    In addition to the Marshall Tucker Band, also performing will be Black Jack Billy, a southern rock band, according to Friesen.
    The gates will open the night of the concert at 6 p.m. Black Jack Billy will take the stage at 7 p.m. The Marshall Tucker Band will start its performance at 8:30 p.m.
    Between the acts a “thank you” DVD featuring Y members and staff will be played for the audience.
    Page 2 of 2 - The concert sponsors are: McDonalds of Hannibal and Bowling Green, Pepsi Services of Quincy, F&M Bank, Best Western, KHMO/KICK FM, Charter and Golden Eagle.
    YMCA history
    The celebration of the Y’s anniversary comes only months after the original building at Fifth and Center streets was torn down.
    “It was bittersweet,” said Friesen. “I hated to see it hobbling along like that. It was falling apart so badly. It served its purpose to the community very well.”
    Plans to build the downtown Y pushed forward after a dozen men set out to raise $50,000, but wound up generating $75,000 in less 10 days.
    “They were the movers and shakers of the community at the time,” said Friesen. “They believed in the Y mission, what it offered the community and stood for.”
    As Hannibal grew westward, consideration was given to moving with it.
    “The original Y served the community until 1980 when another group of strong-minded citizens felt a new Y was needed,” said Friesen.
    Y membership has continued to grow. When the Y relocated from downtown to its present location just east of the high school complex, membership was approximately 1,800. Over the next decade membership jumped by another 1,500. In 1991, membership stood at around 2,500. By 2000 it had risen to 4,000 members. The membership role currently stands at 7,200, according to Friesen.
    Facilities have been upgraded at the current Y over the course of time. In 1990, a weight room, upstairs activity room and observation deck to the pool were added.
    The next major renovation came in 2005 when the Boland Wellness Center and Coons Activity Center were built.
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