Six local bands will join together this weekend to honor the memory of a man they looked to as a mentor and friend while raising funds to promote Alzheimer's Disease awareness.
A Concert to Remember will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday in the ballroom of the Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association's programs, education and resources.
The concert will be held in memory of Dean Morris, a well-known local musician, and in honor of his wife, Shirley Morris, who has Alzheimer's Disease.
Dean Morris died unexpectedly on Nov. 20, 2011. He was the primary caregiver to his wife. Morris is best remembered by those who knew him as a talented, self-taught musician and member of the Ski Band, in which he played guitar for 30 years.
"Dean was his wife's sole caregiver," said Amy VonBank community resource coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Iowa. "Their family and friends have taken over the role of caring for her. They wanted to know what they could do and we came up with the idea of a benefit concert."
The event will feature performances by Beaver Creek, Brandon Scott Sellner & the Austin Stranglers, Cody McClintock, GearDown, Mudd Jugg and Planet Rock. A silent auction for items such as two tickets to an Iowa Hawkeyes football game, Adirondack chairs, artwork, quilts and Iowa State Cyclone memorabilia autographed by ISU Head Football Coach Paul Rhoads will also be held along with a raffle.
Proceeds from the auction and raffle, as well as ticket sales, will benefit the Alzheimer's Association and its efforts to find a cure for the debilitating disease.
"We are on the front line of research to find a cure for this disease," VonBank said. "Right now, of the top 10 deadly diseases in the United States, Alzheimer's is the only one in which there is no way to slow, stop or cure it."
The local office of the Alzheimer's Association, at 822 Central Ave. Suite 310, offers free support programs for family members, caregivers and Alzheimer's patients, care consultations, a resource lending library and a 24-hour support hotline.
Each of the participating bands and musicians donated their talent for the event.
"Every one of them has reached out and donated their time," said VonBank. "This is something that means a lot to them because they all had a relationship with Dean and many of them have a personal connection to Alzheimer's Disease."
Terri Bowden, vocalist for Planet Rock, said many of her fellow band members were inspired by Morris.
"Nick, our drummer, has played with Dean as part of the Ski Band," Bowden said. "The local bands in Fort Dodge are a close-knit group; we all know each other. We're doing this out of total respect for Dean and Shirley. She has been through a lot and we feel it is important to support her and honor Dean's memory. We're here to support Shirley and we want people to see just how much Alzheimer's affects everyone. Dean was a great guy, and Shirley is just a super lady."
Bowden said the event will also be a good way to see a lot of local talent under one roof.
"It's always fun to play and to have a chance to hear everyone else play," she said. "There is a lot of local talent in Fort Dodge."
Admission to the concert is $25 per person or two for $40 before June 24, or $30 per person at the door.