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Music in the forest; for the Forest

The Black Rose Acoustic Society met its goal to raise $10,000 at the Aug. 24 music festival put on by the society, in coordination with Tri-Lakes Cares, Safeway and Wonderland Ranch.Michael Seraphin, one of the main organizers of the event, said his estimated count of people who attended is about 600. Seraphin said he was pleased, given the seven-week ìvery short windowî of planning time. ìWe met our goal of $10, 000,î he said. ìWe donít have an exact figure yet.îTri-Lakes Cares will allocate the funds to the victims of the Black Forest fire. About 45 volunteers were on hand at the site of the concert, Wonderland Ranch. Chad McKeller, owner of the ranch, turned down a ìpayingî corporate event to hold the festival on his property, at no cost, Seraphin said. McKellerís property is also home to two lakes that helped firefighters battle the fire.Seraphin said firefighters fought the blaze with about a quarter of a million gallons of water from the lakes.Safeway also sponsored the event, donating all the food and beverages in the green room, as well as a volunteer tent.Many of the musicians played for nothing or at a highly discounted rate.ìSo many people came together to make this work,î Seraphin said. ìWe tried very hard to keep costs down. We had zero dollars for advertising.î More than $1,000 worth of raffle items were donated by various businesses, including the fiddle Doug Kershaw played at the beginning of the show. The raffle brought in $1,200, and wine and beer sales totaled $2,500. Peggy Littleton, El Paso County commissioner for district 5, was the master of ceremony for the second stage, and Stu Turner did the MC honors on the main stage. Seraphin said the festival would not have been possible without the hard work of the volunteers, businesses and the Black Rose Acoustic Society president and his wife, Jeff and Char Smith.

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