The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard winery in Mackinaw invites area residents to dust off their tambourines, bongo drums, and hula hoops to celebrate the beginning of summer, June 21.
At the same time, people attending the Drum Circle and a concert by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band Coco Loco will have an opportunity to support children with cancer and area families affected by cancer.
“There are a lot of good causes and there are a lot of fund-raisers that go on in our community;” said Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Winery owner Diane Hahn. “I was looking for something that was really different and hasn’t been done a bunch of times. A drum circle type of event was something I had not seen done for any kind of fund-raising event here in central Illinois.”
The event will begin at 7 p.m. with the drum circle that is designed to last between 40 and 45 minutes, Hahn added. Attendees are invited to play drums or tambourines, or dance or spin hula hoops. The Jesse White Tumbling Team will give a brief performance along with a fire-dancing team from the Peoria-based sideshow caravan Madhouse Marvels.
“It’s fun and family-friendly,” Hahn said. “It’s a hands-on, interactive event where you’re part of the fun.”
Drummer and facilitator Natasha Greene will provide some instruction before the drum circle begins, and some drums will be available to participants who did not bring their own. The fund-raiser will also feature drum-making stations, face-painting stations and concessions.
“If people want to bring in a picnic or something, they will be welcome to do that,” said Hahn.
As the sun sets on the Summer Solstice, Coco Loco will perform during the event’s last two hours.
“It started with the drum circle and then we thought, we’ll have a concert following the drum circle,” Hahn added. “Clearly, people would get tired of playing drums all evening.”
The cost of the event is $20 for adults and $5 for children. All proceeds will be donated to the Heller Center for Kids with Cancer at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
“(We’re hoping to raise) a million dollars, but that’s probably not realistic,” Hahn said with a laugh. “I’d be thrilled if we could raise about $20-30,000 for the evening. If we have 1,000 people attend, which we can handle that big of a crowd, that’s not inconceivable. There will be other opportunities for donations and different things going on during the evening. We’re getting little six-by-six inch canvases and people will be invited make a donation of a dollar or more and decorate a canvas.”
Hahn added that she hopes the event will not only raise money for the Heller Center, but will also raise public awareness about the contributions that the center and OSF Children’s Hospital make to central Illinois.
“Our children’s hospital, in my mind, is one of the unsung heroes of our area,” said Hahn. “It serves not just Peoria, but the entire downstate region. They do a lot of great work and the Heller Center for Kids with Cancer is a branch of that. I know there are a lot of choices and things you can support in our community and come out for. But hopefully, we’ve hit on something that’s a bit different.”
Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is located at 33633 Illinpois Route 9, Mackinaw. For more information on the Drum Circle and Coco Loco concert or to purchase tickets online, visit www. MackinawValleyVineyard.com.