Elvis Presley served his country as a member of the U.S. Army. His legacy will be used at an upcoming Toledo charity event to benefit local veterans.
The sixth annual Toledo Elvis Festival is scheduled for April 4 and 5 at the Erie Street Market Downtown. This year's event will raise money for Honor Flight Northwest Ohio, a nonprofit organization that provides terminally ill and World War II veterans flights to Washington, D.C., to tour the World War II Memorial.
Michelle Rosencrantz, president of Elvis Presley's Sweet Sweet Spirit Fan Club, the group that organizes the Toledo Elvis Festival, said her organization wanted to honor veterans with this year's event because it falls near the 50th anniversary of The King's induction into the Army.
As an official Elvis Presley fan club, Rosencrantz's group cannot profit from any events it hosts in his honor. “We don't make money off of Elvis' name,” she said.
Highlighting this year's festival with be a performance by The Imperials, the group that backed Presley from 1968 to 1972, including on his Grammy-winning gospel recording “He Touched Me.” New this year will be a competition among local bands, which will perform their own versions of Presley tunes, said Robert Rosencrantz, vice president of the Sweet Sweet Spirit Fan Club and one of the festival's scheduled performers.
Robert Rosencrantz said he hopes the band competition reaches those not considered typical Elvis fans. “We thought, ‘Let's reach a different audience, reach out to a younger crowd that might not understand what Elvis is all about,” he said. “It's a tough thing to do, to reinvent Elvis, because it's either something you really like or you don't.”
Rosencrantz operates the Chowder House Restaurant at the Erie Street Market.
Tickets to the Toledo Elvis Festival cost $20 per day and may be purchased by calling (419) 727-5847. Doors to the event open at 6 p.m. April 4 and 2 p.m. April 5.
Source: Google / Updated: Mar 21, 2008