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Interactive benefit concert at Turfway will aid deployed troops

Thursday, June 3, 2010 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . June 3, 2010 . . . Turfway Park and Operation Troop Aid have joined forces to turn Turfway's next Country's Rising Stars concert into an interactive benefit for deployed U.S. troops.

The June 19 concert features national recording group Trailer Choir, whose current hits include "Rollin' Through the Sunshine" and "Rockin' the Beer Gut," the latter a nominee for CMT Group Video of the Year. Trailer Choir has toured with country megastar Toby Keith and records for Keith's Show Dog label.

Turfway will waive the $10 admission charge to the concert and instead will seek freewill donations to fund Operation Troop Aid, which sends care packages to the troops. During the concert, Operation Troop Aid will put volunteers from the crowd to work assembling packages.

Additionally, concertgoers can buy raffle tickets from Operation Troop Aid to win a guitar autographed by Trailer Choir and other artists appearing at the 2010 Country Music Association Festival. The guitar will be given away on-stage during the Trailer Choir concert.

Local artists Code 9 and the Cef Michael Band open the show, which begins at 7:15pm at Turfway Park, I-75 at Exit 182 in Florence. Doors open at 6:00pm. Parking is plentiful and free.

A care package typically contains a 120-minute phone card, treats such as beef jerky, candy, and granola bars, moist wipes, hand sanitizer, a thank you card, and one or more letters from schoolchildren. Including the cost of shipping and handling, one care package represents about $40.

"Operation Troop Aid supports America's finest," said the organization’s founder, Mark Woods, a 21-year Navy veteran. "They deserve our very best effort and continual improvement of the level of support we provide. Anything less is unacceptable—period! Please take this opportunity to help us by attending this concert and by visiting www.operationtroopaid.org."

Woods founded Operation Troop Aid after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Earlier that year, during one of his six major deployments, he had been assigned to coordinate a shipboard concert by recording artist Chad Brock. When country legend Garth Brooks sought to present a shipboard concert after 9/11, Woods was named assistant coordinator for the nationally televised event. Drawing on those experiences and his degrees in business administration and operations management, Woods developed Operation Troop Aid as a concert production company to fund its work on behalf of active and returning troops. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2005. Woods retired from military service in 2008.

The Country's Rising Stars series of concerts are presented by Turfway Park and Cincinnati country radio station B-105.

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