Hometown Healing concert connecting the community through music


It can feel like the world has shifted in the past couple of years. Mental, physical and economical hardships hit and left feelings of separation and strain throughout communities. CHI St. Alexius Health Foundation in Williston has been working hard on an event that they hope will bring a communal connection to their  town.

In collaboration with Drive North and Williston Parks and Rec, the hospital Foundation is bringing Clay Walker to perform in Williston on Sept. 9 at the Hometown Healing Charity Concert for a day of family friendly community celebration.

“It’s been a rough couple of years for everybody in this town,” Foundation Coordinator Brittny Mayo said. “And music has a very healing power. And what better way, than after a rough couple of years to come together and heal, than with a concert?”

Clay Walker will perform with the opening act of Ben Haggard, Merle Haggard’s youngest son,  at the Williston ARC starting at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5 p.m. Williston Parks and Rec will be running the bar with beer tabs available. Eight different food vendors will be on site and two acoustic guitars signed by Walker will be auctioned off during the evening.

The ARC is closing early for the event as the concert will take place at the facility’s basketball courts. Floor protection and a false floor will be laid before the 100-foot stage and three high-definition, 20-foot video walls are hung from the ceilings by Drive North.

“We want to be really good community partners and take care of the facility the best we are able to,” Mayo said.

The Foundation has been working on this event since October and have brought in those necessary to make sure the event is done right. They have worked with the city, fire department, police department, emergency preparedness and parks and recreation.

The Foundation’s main fundraiser in the past had been a golf event, but Mayo saw what small demographic that hit and wanted to include more of the community. The Hometown Healing Charity Concert is for the whole family, welcoming all ages.

“We really wanted to bring an event that everybody in the community could enjoy,” Mayo said. “We wanted to bring the community together for something unique.”

Walker’s team agreed to sell tickets at a lower cost than usual to ensure as many people were able to attend without finances being a barrier. Tickets are selling at $40 for seating or $50 for standing room. Sponsorship options are also available.

Funds raised from this event will go toward the expansion of the emergency department, renovating and reopening the mental health wing and updating inpatient rooms. The new emergency department is estimated to be opening in 2024 with 20 patient treatment areas and a dedicated CT machine. The mental health wing, that will handle mental health and substance addiction, is set to open in three to five years time. The wing will have 10 in-patient and several outpatient rooms.

Every dollar raised through the Healing Heroes concert or any other foundation event stays in Williston and goes directly to the Williston facility.

The concert isn’t the only thing the Foundation has going on on Sept. 9. In the morning, the Sugar Bust Diabetes Run will kick off the day at Spring Lake Park, with a community fair to follow.

“The main focus of the hospital now going forward is … a season of change,” said Marcia Benway, CHI St. Alexius Williston marketing specialist. “That’s what our campaign is. We want to be what the community needs us to be and we are more than committed than ever with providing everybody with what they need in a facility.”

Tickets for Clay Walker are going fast and can be purchased online at chistalexiushealth.ejoinme.org/HometownHealing2023 or at the door the day of if available.

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