Soldier On Benefit Concert

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announces the benefit concert to take place at the Times Union Center on May 31, 2014.

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy has announced a major fundraising effort at the Times Union Center will take place on May 31, 2014. A street festival and concert will be held featuring a triple bill of rocker Bret Michaels, The Charlie Daniels Band and Marshall Tucker. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales for the show will be donated to Soldier On, which is raising funds in order to build a housing center at the site of the former Ann Lee Home. Soldier On plans include a campus at the site, with housing, treatment services and job placement assistance.

Joining the County Executive at the announcement on November 19th  were John Downing, CEO and President of Soldier On, Bob Belber, General Manager of the Times Union Center, concert promoter Jim Anderson of Willjam Productions and Patrick Brisson, a local charity event coordinator and veterans advocate.

Aside from being known as the lead singer of Poison, Michaels is known for his philanthropy and support of our military. He and his band visited Al Asad Air Base in 2007 and he has done extensive work for Operation Homefront, which provides emergency financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded service personnel.

Charlie Daniels is a country music legend who has been performing for more than 50 years. He may be best known for the hit single "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Daniels' charitable work includes traveling to Iraq several times to support American troops and being heavily involved in efforts to assist veterans by playing at benefits around the country.

Rounding out the bill is the Marshall Tucker Band whose blend of rock, R&B, jazz, country and gospel defined the Southern rock genre 40 years ago. Led by Toy Caldwell, the MTB, as they are known, continue to bring their sounds to audiences around the world, playing between 150 and 200 shows a year. The band has played numerous concerts to benefit the Armed Forces and related non-profits.

"This is going to be a great partnership for the 18,000 veterans in the county, some of whom need these services," said McCoy. "The fact that these great recording artists are coming to Albany in support of Soldier On affirms that this is an organization that deserves our support."

"Soldier On is extremely proud to be associated with Dan McCoy and the veterans of Albany County," said Downing. "On behalf of the veterans we are now serving in Albany County I would like to thank the promoters and the artists whose generous donation of their time and talent will live on in the lives of the men and women who served our country."

"When I heard about the county's partnership with Soldier On to build a home for returning veterans, I got the idea that we could help out by putting on a concert to raise funds for the effort, said Anderson. "I immediately thought of three bands who have demonstrated sincere and dedicated support to our troops and veterans over many, many years. I am so pleased that all three bands were available to perform on May 31, 2014."

"I am honored to represent the veterans of United States Military and the greater good they stand for," said Brisson. "You have stood between us and those intent on hurting us, our freedoms and liberties. We are forever in your debt for the service and sacrifice you've paid forward."

The concert will be preceded by a daylong street festival in front of the TU Center from noon to 6 p.m. There will be live music from local favorites Skeeter Creek, EB Jeb and No2 Band. The festival will also feature a custom motorcycle show, bike builders and "The ride for Soldier On," a motorcycle parade raising awareness to the cause. Contact for the Street Festival is Patrick Brisson pbrisson@nycap.rr.com or 518-376-3998.

Individuals interested in donating directly to the project can do so at any Berkshire Bank to the account Soldier On Foundation, Inc.-New York. Checks should be made out to "Soldier On Foundation," and specify with a memo on the check "New York." The same can be done on PayPal when donating on the website.

To buy tickets, you can click http://www.timesunioncenter-albany.com/events/The-Charlie-Daniels-Band-with-Bret-Michaels-and-The-Marshall-Tucker-Band-p155.html

Soldier On provides safe, affordable housing to homeless veterans, including permanent limited-equity ownership units at the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community in Pittsfield, MA. The Mansfield Community serves as a national model as Soldier On actively seeks to extend its successful veterans' programs to communities throughout the United States.