Production company, nonprofit team up for concert

The Love Come to Life Tour, coming Sunday to Eastern New Mexico University, features well-known Christian music performers Big Daddy Weaver, Kerrie Roberts and Mike's Chair.

A local production company owner was touched on hearing the story of a nonprofit organization's message against drinking and driving and invited them to be a part of a concert featuring some well-known acts in the Christian music world.

John Pennell of Total Productions was adamant about bringing the Love Come to Life Tour to Portales for a night of worship and to give a chance for non-profit organization My Ashleah to share their story.

Pennell reached out to Mark Richards of My Ashleah and asked if they would be a part of the Portales and Artesia shows.

"(Pennell) believed in what we were doing, and our story touched his heart," said Richards, whose daughter died in a vehicle accident involving a drunken driver in October of 2009 in Lubbock. "He had all the connections with different artists and we needed to bring the tour to Portales. That's where Ashleah was laid to rest."

The three acts featured are: Big Daddy Weave of Mobile, Ala., "Rescue Me" singer Kerrie Roberts, and Christian pop/rock band, Mike's Chair.

"It's going to be a high-power night of worship," Pennell said. "These acts really stand behind what they believe in."

Pennell describes Mike's Chair as a high energy band that is really passionate about what they're doing for God. He says Kerrie Roberts is a singer that his daughters love, and Big Daddy Weave is all about praise and worship.

"The three acts can draw in different crowds for the same purpose," Pennell said. "There's something for everyone."

Richards said they will do a short presentation at the shows during intermission to tell his daughter's story and to raise awareness.

Since her death, My Ashleah was created by her family to raise awareness about drinking and driving and alcoholism.

My Ashleah travels to about 35 to 40 venues a year to speak to students, repeat offenders and communities and has even teamed up with Mothers Against Drinking and Driving, according to Richards.

"We use the concert to outreach to people that are able to come and hear briefly about the organization and just to be ministered to through music," Richards said.

Richards said Mike Weave of Big Daddy Weave and Kerry Roberts know about Ashleah's story and believe in what the organization is doing.

"I made two promises standing over (Ashleah's) coffin; I promised to take care of her mother, and I promised that I will not allow her to be just a number. Her voice is to be heard," Richards said.

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