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Singers, songwriters perform to help St. Jude

Performers in Huntsville Group 1 raised the most money at the Singer/Songwriters for St. Jude Extravaganza. They are Alvia Sandberg, from left, Amit Chadha, Ron Brown, Earl Watts and Mary Justice Lucas. (CONTRIBUTED)
Performers in Huntsville Group 1 raised the most money at the Singer/Songwriters for St. Jude Extravaganza. They are Alvia Sandberg, from left, Amit Chadha, Ron Brown, Earl Watts and Mary Justice Lucas. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Good-natured rivalry and good music set the tone for the 18th annual Singer/Songwriters for St. Jude Extravaganza.

To-date, the songwriters have collected $4,932 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Stem & Stein hosted the event on Sept. 13; owners Jessica Petty, Ali King and Justin King donated personally and 10 percent of sales.

Event organizer Del McGee “lost a childhood friend to cancer several years ago,” friend and country artist Cristina Lynn said. “Del still cannot believe how the extravaganza continues to grow.”

“After he lost his friend, Del wanted to do something special to help fight and find a cure for the dreaded disease,” Lynn said. “Throughout the night, I heard the songwriters mentioning how much we enjoy this fundraiser because it’s all about the kids.”

Four rounds of entertainment each included five to six writers from the Huntsville, Muscle Shoals and Birmingham areas. Each group held “a little contest to see who could raise the most money,” Lynn said.

Huntsville Group 1 raised the most money with Mary Justice Lucas, Ron Brown, Amit Chadha, Earl Watts, Robin Stewart and Alvia Sandberg Amit. “Mary Justice raised $1,155 by herself and shaved her head, too,” Lynn said.

Performers in Huntsville Group 2 were Cristina Lynn, Greg Mitchell, Robert Barnes, Dana Marie Bright and Grace Eileen Wood.

The Muscle Shoals group included Blaine Cantrell, John Crosslin, Will Stults, Lori Lovelace-Muse and Tim Cannon. Songwriters from Birmingham were Kendra Sutton, Travis Widner, Jay Randall, Skip Cochran and Chapman James.

The vocalists sang all genres of music. “Everything from country, folk, blues and pop to Americana,” Lynn said. Doug Donley, Tom Smith and T. Sheppard Music managed sound.

Lynn sang “House On Wheels,” “Somebody Loves You,” “Doin’ Something Right” and “Whiskey & Honey,” which Lynn’s friend Kimberly Lang used in her novel, “Downfall of a Good Girl.”

“Hopefully, next year’s event will continue to grow and raise awareness of childhood cancer and the need for a cure,” Lynn said.

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