Experience a living legend, share Kristofferson’s concern for farmworkers

May 27, 2009
Santa Paula News

It’s the chance to experience a living legend and share his social conscience when Kris Kristofferson presents a special “Have a Heart for Farmworkers” benefit concert, May 30 at the Majestic Ventura Theater.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesIt’s the chance to experience a living legend and share his social conscience when Kris Kristofferson presents a special “Have a Heart for Farmworkers” benefit concert, May 30 at the Majestic Ventura Theater. The concert will be the second time that Kristofferson has staged a show to benefit farmworker housing, a fundraiser that resulted from the efforts of Ventura Councilman and former Mayor Carl Morehouse.A Kristofferson look-alike, Morehouse made contact with Kristofferson, and the “Have a Heart for Farmworkers” concerts - May 30 will be second - were born. “Kris is someone who truly understands the plight of working people and the working poor,” and Morehouse noted Kristofferson’s “long history of sharing his talents to benefit those in need.”Kristofferson’s first concert two years ago raised close to $100,000 to benefit farmworkers through the Ag Futures Alliance’s Farm workers program and the Ventura County Community Foundation’s Farmworker Housing Fund.Sponsors for the event range from Limoneira Company and Mark Hartley, owner of the WaterMark Restaurant, to Tim Kilcoyne of the Sidecar Restaurant and Affinity Bank to the Santa Paula Times, among many others. Hartley will hold a reception for sponsors at the WaterMark, and Kilcoyne, of the Sidecar Restaurant, is organizing a “Food on Chestnut” venue featuring locally grown - and harvested - delicacies from an impressive array of restaurants and wines from the finest vintners.“It’s going to be very, very nice,” and John Chamberlain, Limoneira marketing director, said, “Everyone at the Food on Chestnut event will literally be wined and dined” with appetizers from more than a dozen fine restaurants and the juice of the finest grapes to be savored from Weaver Wines, which is donating a portion of sales to the cause.
Chamberlain said Kristofferson, a songwriter, singer, actor and activist, would be fascinating to spend time with, even if he never picked up a musical instrument. “He’s a living legend... what can you say about a Rhodes Scholar that turns down the chance to teach at West Point - West Point! - to become a janitor at Capital Records because he loves music and wants to be in the business?”Kristofferson’s songwriting talent has resulted in classics, ranging from “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down” to “For the Good Times” and many, many others.Above all Chamberlain said Kristofferson is “a guy that’s devoted to people in need, basically the underserved in our world. He’s just one of those good old big hearted guys who counts his own blessings and believes in helping those in need in our society.” Kristofferson, a crossover artist in any musical genre, changed much of the sound and face of country western and led the way with fellow outlaws by becoming active in social causes.Pre-concert activities include a silent auction in the lobby of the historic Majestic Theater and the screening of a multi-media presentation created by children of farmworkers.“Farmworkers struggle to house their families, and their children suffer the effects of growing up in unhealthy and overcrowded homes,” said Ellen Brokaw, who spearheaded the farm worker housing movement in Ventura County. She added that silent auction proceeds would benefit educational support for the children of farmworkers.There’s still time be become a concert sponsor and purchase tickets: for sponsorship, contact Ellen Brokaw at (805) 647- 2262; for tickets and further information, contact Sonja Flores at 805 921-0430 or fax (805) 525-7636. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau (805) 648-2075.

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