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Duluth First UMC concert to benefit troops

Duluth United Methodist Church will host a concert this month that will benefit U.S. troops deployed overseas. While this concert is not the first to be hosted by the Duluth church, it will be the first time the event will provide needed funding for ministries supporting troops and their families.

In past years, the themed performances featured Broadway shows, a patriotic theme and even "music of the '60s." This year's theme is "A Sentimental Journey ... Through the '40s." Ensembles and soloists will also sing Christian songs during the second half of the presentation.

All of the proceeds will go to the church's ministry supporting U.S. troops.

"Our Program currently supports approximately 1,600 deployed soldiers from the 101st Airborne (based in Ft. Campbell, Ky.), Arkansas Army National Guard, 2-1 General Support Aviation Battalion (based in Ft. Riley, Kan.), and various platoons," said Dr. David Daniel, minister of music at Duluth First UMC. "We just welcomed home 3,800 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division based at Ft. Benning after a 15-month deployment in Iraq."

Daniel added that "Welcome Home Hero" bags were decorated by Mason Elementary School students in Duluth and were filled by volunteers with snacks and personal care items. Church members also made "Welcome Home" banners to greet the returning soldiers.

Year-round, church volunteers send cards, care packages and other much needed items of encouragement to soldiers.

"The 'Support Our Troops' ministry relies on financial donations to help ship care packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to purchase special items requested by deployed troops," Daniel said. "Many of the soldiers are located in areas where they have very little access to these items; female soldiers especially look forward to our care packages."

To contribute to the "Support Our Troops" ministry, call Linda Bailey at 770-476-3776 or Angie Doerlich at 404-316-8183.

SideBar: If You Go

What: Concert for "Support Our Troops"

When: Sept. 13 and 14, 7 p.m.

Where: Duluth First United Methodist Church

Cost of admission: Suggested donations, $8 adults, $5 for seniors and children

More info: Call Minister of Music David Daniel at 770-476-3776, ext. 16, or e-mail ddaniel@duluthumc.org.