Benefit concert to aid Village of Progress


MOUNT MORRIS —Longtime musician and tribute artist, Denny Diamond, will perform an interactive concert at the Pines Playhouse, Aug. 21, benefitting flood cleanup and repair efforts at Village of Progress.
In July, a flashflood raged through the 26,000 sq. ft. facility, leaving 80 percent of its handicap-accessible, graded-floor workshop and outbuildings, about a foot under water.
“It was unlike anything I had ever seen before,” said Merlin Hagemann. “When I got into the building, I was totally amazed. Anything that wasn’t fastened down was floating. Water was bubbling out of the walls; it was crazy. The rush of water sounded like what you’d imagine when the Titanic sank.”
As fast as it rushed in, Hagemann said, it receded. The deafening sound would have been a relief, he added, if not for it leaving in its wake, a thick coating of mud.
“All that was left was mud, and it was in the cupboards, just all over,” he said.
The water destroyed files, drywall, sheetrock, desks, furniture and products village clients make for its contractors. Though efforts to salvage as much as possible were made, Wahl Clipper, VoP’s largest workforce supplier, had to discard 5,000 of its clippers.
VOP director Brion Brooks said flood insurance is nominal, anticipating the damage to fall into the several thousand dollar range. He expects the workshop to be reopened by the end of the week.
“The show is going to be great,” Hagemann added. “I think the fundraiser will help with a lot of what the insurance will not pay for. President and founder of White Pines Resort, Beth Henderson always steps up to the plate to get things done. And Denny is a great performer. It’ll be a good night to just kick back and give thanks for what we’ve got; it could have been a lot worse.”
Vice President of Operations at White Pines Resort, Jerry Campagna said Denny Diamond, a Playhouse favorite, will record a promotional video during the event. Crowd input is welcome, as he will revamp his entire act, from his stage name, costume and, set design, to his playlist, adding in the likes of Louis Armstrong, Glen Campbell, Jim Croce, Bobby Darrin, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Willy Nelson and many more.
“In essence, here’s your chance to play the role of a show producer, have real input assisting Denny in taking his gig to the next level—And, support a local nonprofit in need.”
This unique event staring Denny Diamond, begins at 6 and ends at 9 p.m., Aug. 21. Cost is $28 per person. Purchase includes White Pines homemade potato chips and one free beverage (beer, wine or soft drink).
White Pines Resort will be donating 50 percent of all ticket, food, beverage and cabin sales to the Village Of Progress to help offset costs of flood damage to its facility.
White Pines Playhouse is located inside of the lodge at 6712 W. Pines Rd., Mt Morris, IL. For show and cabin reservations call 815-946-3817 or email [email protected]

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