Rock The Rapids holds Military Night | News
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Wednesday is going to be a big night at the Rock the Rapids music festival as country music mega star, Toby Keith, is set to take the stage.
With hits like "Courtesy of The Red, White and Blue" and "American Soldier" Toby Keith is very open about his respect for men and women in uniform. So, Wednesday will be a treat for many of their families because it's Rock the Rapids, Military Night.
"We started off a few months ago and said what can we do to benefit the military in some way, shape or form. A lot of people are deployed so we turned to the families and we said how can we go about giving the families of deployed people a good night out," said Andy O'Riley, one of the festival organizers.
O'Riley says they approached their sponsors, "like Pepsi, Soaring Eagle, Auto Value and Miller Light" to ask for suggestions.
"And they said 'you know what, take all our VIP tickets that night and give them to these families of deployed military people.' So they are going to have a great night out. This was before we even knew Toby Keith was coming. "
He acknowledges too often people forget how challenging life can be for family members of those deployed and hopes the concert will put smiles on their faces.
"It is a sacrifice. You know these guys are on the front lines and that is dangerous stuff but you have to think about mom at home and a couple of kids and stuff like that. They could use a break and a night out and we are happy that we here at Rock the Rapids we can provide that," said O'Riley. "We spent the past few months rounding up people who have deployed service people all over the world and they will be here Wednesday night."
The Rock the Rapids festival is a non-profit event that also benefits the Grand Rapids Public Schools and YMCA.
"This is a great giving community, all of West Michigan is, and to see it highlighted like this on such a grand scale.. I'm proud to be a part of it," said O'Riley.
Wednesday's concert begins at 7:30 in Festival Village.
If you go tonight, send us a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org .