MHC Healthcare execs hope country music singer Chris Cagle will rope in a large, enthusiastic crowd for its Music in Marana fundraiser.
A benefit for the MHC Healthcare Foundation, Music in Marana is the brainchild of Mary Carter, MHC Healthcare’s director of special projects.
The concert, at 6 p.m. Saturday, will take place in the parking lot of MHC Healthcare, 13395 N. Marana Main St.
Carter, who has been planning the event for three months, said she chose Cagle because she appreciates his showmanship and thinks his authenticity will appeal to Marana’s cowboy crowd.
“The reason we chose him was based on his performance record,” she said. “He’s a bona fide cowboy. He ropes and owns horses. He’s real country. A proven performer. Some of the people on the radio these days have a great song, but when you see them onstage, you’ll see them once and you don’t ever need to see them again. However, Chris Cagle gives a great show.”
Cagle has had several Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks top 10 hits, including “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” which topped the chart in 2002.
Carter and assistant Bo Popovic have rounded up more than 30 businesses to sponsor the show. In addition to funds, sponsors are contributing something a big show needs just as badly — people power.
“Execution for an event this big takes a lot of hands,” Carter said. “We partnered with a lot of different agencies in town, as well as volunteer groups and individuals.”
Carter, who got businesses to commit to sending employees to volunteer during the show, recruited a 50-strong volunteer force with an eye on streamlining the experience for the crowd. More parking attendants, ticket takers, clean-up crews and concession stand workers will help things go more smoothly, she said. For example, Girl Scouts volunteers will run a water and soft drink stand to shorten lines for those who aren’t buying alcohol.
In addition to the concert, there will be raffles of donated items, including gift certificates, jewelry and a leather jacket.
Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, Tucson Federal Credit Union and Arizona Victory Motorcycles are among the sponsors. Eegee’s and Firehouse Subs are donating food to feed the volunteers.
Rounding up the sponsors has been tough but rewarding, Popovic said.
“I think people are interested, but they’ve been a little bit on a tight time crunch,” Popovic said. “Corporations want requests earlier in the year, when they kind of have more of their budgets left. But the response has been amazing. Mary is incredible. I think she’s a great networker, and she’s made a lot of connections. She’s very comfortable pitching what we’re doing.”
Carter hopes for a crowd of 2,500 or more. Last year’s show, which was headlined by Easton Corbin, drew 2,000.
Carter said the goal is to promote MHC Healthcare, which serves mainly low-income residents, and raise money to expand its programs.
“It’s promoting our presence as a resource,” she said. “This is a critical time, with the confusion generated by the insurance marketplace. We want to show the benefit of community health centers. All of our programs in some shape or form support individuals and their own specific needs.”