$2K raised for Safe Passage at country tribute concert

By Claire Buchanan

Husband and wife musicians Fareed Haque and Jill Sanderson performed a country music concert Nov. 2 for a fundraiser at The House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway.

Haque, who is a guitar professor, and Sanderson, who is a singer, joined three musicians for the fundraiser. The event raised $2,270, said Joel Kennedy, The House Cafe booking manger, for Safe Passage, which helps victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The First Congregational United Church of Christ, 615 N. First St., sponsored the fundraiser. The church sponsors events for Safe Passage each year, said Lisa Jensen, client services director at Safe Passage.

“We’re very fortunate that the community is very supportive of us with fundraisers like this one,” Jensen said. “We have a lot of different groups of people who take it upon themselves to say, ‘Hey, let’s have a fundraiser for you.’ We couldn’t make it without the community helping support us.”

The benefit paid tribute to country singer Patsy Cline. Sanderson led a four-piece band in performing a selection of Cline’s songs. The group included graduate music student Kelton Norris on drums. Speaking in a Southern accent, Sanderson brought audience members back to the 1950s with a set list of old-fashioned country music.

“The whole show has a rockabilly feel,” Sanderson said. “We have Dave Kolars playing slide guitar, so that gives you a real country-western twang.”

Attendees filled every seat in The House and stood along the walls. Sanderson said the event brought more than 180 people. Despite the tight space, audience members clapped and danced while listening to Cline covers, such as “I Fall to Pieces” and “Walkin’ After Midnight.”

“I think people really want to support this cause,” Haque said. “And Jill has lived here all her life so she knows a lot of folks, and everybody loves Patsy Cline. Put those three factors together and we have a packed house.”