Concerned community funds suicide awareness concert Thursday

British-American singer Alex Boyé will sing as part of the The American Festival Chorus & Orchestra's The Melody of Humanity: A Celebration of World Music

CACHE COUNTY – Thanks to the generosity of the local community, the “Ignite the Light” suicide awareness concert on Thursday will not require a bailout with Cache County funds.

The hastily organized free public event is slated for 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Cache County Fairgrounds. The concert will feature local bands and a performance by British-American singer, dancer, actor and musician Alex Boyé.

On Sept. 14, members of the Cache County Council voted to underwrite the concert’s expenses up to $25,000 from the county’s restaurant tax account if local organizers led by County Executive David Zook and business owner Margaret Gittins failed to secure needed donations or sponsorships.

At the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, however, Zook announced that the suspense about voluntary funding for the concert event was over.

Right now, it looks like we won’t need that money that you pledged,” Zook told the council members.

“As of about an hour ago … we were at $41,000 in donations raised. That’s money already in hand and we have pledges from other donors that will take us up to $50,000.”

While Zook admitted to making “a couple of phone calls” soliciting donations for the concert, he said that the majority of the financial support for the event was completely spontaneous.

“We have a great community, “ he added. “So many people voluntarily stepped up and offered to help with this event.

“Business owners heard about the event, called in asking how they could help and did so.”

Zook singled out state Sen. Chris Wilson of the Wilson Motor Company in the audience at the county council meeting as one of those public-spirited donors.

The “Ignite the Light” concert is the brainchild of Margaret Gittins, a local business owner and part-time employee of the Cache County Fairgrounds.

After learning of a recent suicide awareness concert starring Boyé in Herriman, Gittins set about organizing a similar event in Cache County.

Zook predicted that the “Ignite the Light” concert will be a great event.

“Four local bands will perform a couple songs each as opening acts (for Alex Boyé and his band),” the county executive explained. “We’ll have some educational segments (regarding suicide awareness) between the songs and acts.

“We’ll also have about two dozen exhibition booths with information from non-profit groups, counseling organizations and other concerned parties.”

Boyé has resided in Utah for two decades. He is a former member of the European boy-band “Awesome” and of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Boyé’s professional career has included recording religious and Latter-day Saint music.

In recent years, he has also built a massive YouTube following by performing Africanized versions of popular music, including “Let It Go” and “Circle of Life” from the Disney movies “Frozen” and “The Lion King” respectively as well as the Taylor Swift hit “Shake It Off.”

Gittins emphasizes that the “Ignite the Light” suicide awareness concert will be presented free to the public.

Food and snacks will be provided by local vendor trucks.

Gittins also urges attendees to bring blankets and folding chairs to the concert.

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