By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers
When it first started, it was called a youth event and a community bond. As it continued, it was called a charity event.
Call it whatever you want, but featured artist Jana Stanfield has a different name for the music that she brings to Saturday’s annual benefit concert at Portales High School.
“I’d call it ‘heavy mental,’” Stanfield said. “I describe it as psychotherapy you can dance to. It’s positive, it’s inspirational, it’s fun and it’s helpful.”
Stanfield is the featured act in Saturday’s “Enjoy the Ride” concert, set for 7 p.m. at the PHS Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults, with proceeds going to the Panhandle Muscular Dystrophy Association to send children to a summer camp.
“It’s an amazing blessing to be able to be helpful by doing something that I love,” Stanfield said.
It’s also a chance for the entertainer to give back to the area where she grew up. A Grady native, Stanfield graduated in 1976 from Clovis High School and later from Eastern New Mexico University.
“If it weren’t for Dr. Duane Ryan and KENW, I never would have been able to be a television news reporter on KOB,” Stanfield said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do many things I’ve done in my life without ENMU and Clovis High.”
The event gives other local musicians a chance to perform as well. Amy Carter will sing the national anthem, and performances are also scheduled for the Portales High School Chorale, the Farwell High School Band and ENMU freshman Allie Brooks.
“She’s so great about it that the kids feel good about what they’re doing,” said Judy Hall, an organizer of the event who also teaches at Farwell.
Hall has been with the concert from the start three years ago. She said it hadn’t always been meant as a benefit.
“When it started, it was just a way to bring the communities together,” Hall said. “It started out more as a youth event than what it’s turned into. The more people realized you could call her a local girl who did good, the more people came.”
All parties are hoping for a sellout, as it would generate more money for MDA. For every $600 raised, one more child is able to attend an MDA summer camp.
“Every year, I spend a week with kids at a muscular dystrophy camp in Texas,” Stanfield said. “It’s the best week of my year. Muscular dystrophy strikes some of the most amazing kids I ever meet.
“Anything I can do to help them, and anything the Eastern New Mexico area can do to help them go to camp is wonderful.”
Other features at the concert will include a raffle for a Signature Baby Taylor guitar signed by Clint Black, with tickets available for $5 (or six for $25).
Tickets are available at the door, or beforehand at GardenSource or Southwest Ink (356-6836). For information contact Hall at 356-8323 or 760-1386.