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September 14, 2012

Leisure

Toby Keith concert at McCoy draws crowd of nearly 11,000

A four-week wait for the Toby Keith concert seemed to be worth it for an appreciative crowd of almost 11,000 people who gathered at Fort McCoy’s Constitution Park Aug. 30 for the Army Concert Tour event.
PHOTO: Toby Keith at the Aug. 30 concert at Fort McCoy. Photo by Sheila Peterson
Toby Keith interacts with the audience at the Aug. 30 concert at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Sheila Peterson)

In addition to Keith, concert-goers were entertained by country star Kellie Pickler and opening act Mockingbird Sun.

Fort McCoy concert-goers were treated to two concerts for the price of one this summer. The original Aug. 2 concert went on — without Keith — as a free event with country artists Gretchen Wilson, James Otto and JT Hodges.

“We’re really happy with the turnout after we had to reschedule when Toby Keith couldn’t make it for the Aug. 2 concert (because of a medical condition),” said Jobi Spolum, Fort McCoy Marketing director. “The comments we received after the show were that attendees were extremely happy with the new artist line up we were given for the second concert.”

Fort McCoy has been part of the Army Concert Tour since it began in 1997 because it is a community event that aligns with the goals of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program, Spolum said.

PHOTO: Kellie Pickler at the Aug. 30 concert at Fort McCoy. Photo by Sheila Peterson
Kellie Pickler sings to the audience during her time on stage at the Aug. 30 concert at Fort McCoy. 
(Photo by Sheila Peterson)

“Our commitment is to offer quality-of-life programs to our Soldiers, Families, retirees and civilians,” she said. “Through the Army Community Covenant, we strive to build a bridge between Fort McCoy and the local communities.”

“Soldiers are entitled to the same quality of life as is afforded the society they are pledged to defend,” Spolum added. “Keeping an Army ready to fight and win takes more than hard work and training. Soldiers need a balance of work and play. The concert also provides an affordable entertainment option.”

The Army Concert Tour, an Army Entertainment production, is MWR’s biggest revenue-generating event. Spolum said the installation plans to be a part of the tour in 2013. A team of MWR employees work with the Army Concert Tour manager to determine acts. Acts are chosen based on popularity, costs, routing schedules, and more.

Profits generated from the Army Concert Tour are returned to the IMWRF (Installation Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund) and the revenue is used in the MWR facilities to support equipment and programs.

PHOTO: A crowd of nearly 11,000 people watch the Aug. 30 concert at Fort McCoy. Photo by Sheila Peterson
An appreciative crowd of nearly 11,000 people watch the Aug. 30 concert, which also included the opening act Mockingbird Sun.
(Photo by Sheila Peterson)

Spolum said commercial sponsorships are very important to help offset the costs of the event, make a profit and return funds to support the IMWRF. Without those sponsorships, events such as this one would be cost prohibitive.

Volunteers also play a key role in making the event profitable. Typically, more than 300 volunteers log more than 2,500 hours to support IMWRF programs.

The premier sponsor of the 2012 Army Concert Tour is Army G-1’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Program, with the supporting sponsor being the Navy Federal Credit Union. The concert was sponsored locally by Miller Lite, Logistics Health and Smirnoff. No federal endorsement is implied.

For more information about IMWRF programs and events, visit the website www.mccoymwr.com or call the Event Hotline at 877-864-4969.

Anyone who attended the concert and would like to offer feedback can go to the websitehttp://www.mccoymwr.com/events-specials/army-concert-tour/90-army-concert-tour-main.html.

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