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Elvis Festival To Benefit Veterans

March 21, 2008 | Other
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.
samcra wrote on March 21, 2008
As long as it doesn't involve Elvis impersonators I'm all for it. Sounds like a very worthy cause.
Jumpin Jehosaphat wrote on March 21, 2008
This is a good thing without World War II veterans one might wonder where our world would be today. God Bless them and God Bless America, because without America where would BMG (buy my Garbage) be today?
Ruthie wrote on March 22, 2008
Believe me, this is going to be a wonderful Elvis festival. It is going to be a fitting tribute to Elvis & our veterans and, most importantly, for our veterans. I am a very proud member of the club putting on this event & you can't imagine the many hours of hard work that goes into presenting a festival of this caliber. But, if it is successful (as our festivals have been in the past) our veterans will benefit & Elvis will be honored not only for what he contributed musically, but also as a veteran. He would be very proud, as we are of him & those who have given so much.
hounddawgs6499 wrote on March 22, 2008
I sent for my tickets for the Friday and Saturday events. The Sweet Inspirations and D.J. Fontana are also scheduled to be there. I live about an hour and a half away from Toledo. I can't wait for the fest.
Devon wrote on March 25, 2008
Very good thing. Glad to read about it, way to go people.