Fans pack first Pasco Music Festival Angelus benefit
Doug Gray, the last original member of the Marshall Tucker Band still performing with the group, sang and played the tambourine for some 5,000 spectators at the Pasco Music Festival that was a benefit for The Angelus home. FRED BELLET/COMMUNITY NEWSPHOTO SERVICE
Suncoast News staff report
Published: February 27, 2014
Updated: February 27, 2014 at 12:23 PM
HUDSON — Supporters of the Angelus must have heard about the inaugural Pasco Music Festival in a love song as they turned out in droves to hear Marshall Tucker Band and raise money for the Hudson-based nonprofit group that provides residential and day care for people with developmental disabilities. Some 5,000 people flocked to the first Pasco Music Festival, which featured nine localgroups, including Embry Brothers Band, Circle Sky, N-Kahootz and Jo Dell. The last original member of the legendary Marshall Tucker Band still performing with the group, vocalist Doug Gray of Spartanburg, S.C., joked with the crowd as he talked about the nearly four decades the Southern rock band has been performing. Organizer Fred Mack hopes the benefit will clear $25,000 for the Angelus.
State lawmakers have been cutting funds for the Angelus and many nonprofit organizations serving the disabled, according to Joseph R. Neri, executive director and program administrator for Angelus. “With all the cuts, they got hurt,” Mack said about the nonprofit organization. “The people that need it the most shouldn’t have been cut.” Since 1979, the mission of the Angelus is a “place to live, to love, to learn” for severely handicapped persons who are not able to care for themselves, according to the website of the agency. All the wheelchair-bound residents and students suffer from cerebral palsy. “This is why we do this for the Angelus,” Mack remarked. “People ask me why I do it. I say, ‘how often do you get to do God’s work?’ We’re taking care of … our people. All these (spectators) that are here are here for one reason and one reason only, is to make this a successful event for Angelus.” Involved with Angelus for some 23 years, Mack says bands always say yes to playing in benefits for Angelus. A committee has been working nearly a year to put the show together, he noted. Plans for next year will start in about two weeks. Music festival organizers also were pleased with the turnout of about 150 bikers for the Angel Riders for Angelus, a 75-mile ride through Pasco and Hernando counties, Neri said. To learn more about Angelus at 12413 Hudson Ave., call (727) 856-1775(727) 856-1775 or go to the website www.theangelus.com.