A community honors a nation


Community Impact Productions joins with 16 area churches and Cooperative Christian Ministry to put together patriotic musical fundraiser to benefit local military families in need.

By Jonathan E. Coleman
[email protected]
In the days and weeks that followed hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Andy Gazak watched the tragic devastation on television and longed to find a way to help the displaced community.
“Day after day I’m watching things unfold. I felt very compelled that I wanted and needed to do something,” he said. “God was really compelling me to function within my strengths. I began thinking over the idea of putting together a production.”
Over the next three months, Gazak organized Community Impact Productions, a volunteer-based production group set to help make a difference in the Gulf Coast communities by raising money through a musical production.
“At that time, ‘community’ was the Gulf Coast region,” he said. “Looking back now, the name fits. We want to impact the community, where ever we feel compelled.”
Every June and December since the group’s first performance, Community Impact Productions has held an event aimed at serving the needs of the community.
This year’s show “A Nation Under God” uses song and dramatic performances in conjunction with multimedia and special effects in a patriotic tribute to the country’s past and present. Appropriately, the show falls between Memorial Day and Independence Day, and just days after Flag Day.
“This is not to politicize anything,” Gazak said. “We have friends, family, parents and loved ones over there now. This is good, solid, family entertainment.”
Dianna Misegades is one of nearly 100 performers to take part in the musical.
“Even if you don’t support the war, you have to support the troops,” she said. “We’re sitting at home and they’re fighting for our country.”
Misegades is a member of First Assembly Church, one of 16 area churches representing seven denominations taking part in the event.
“It’s an organization that’s trying to make a positive impact on the community,” she said when asked why she choose to get involved in the production. “This shows respect for the country and respect for God.”
While Gazak recognizes the great needs within the community, he’s also realistic about his role in bettering those around him.
“We didn’t take care of the need in the Gulf region, but we put a dent in it. Everybody needs to put their own dent,” he said.
Gazak’s goal is to raise $20,000 through ticket sales and donations to help put a dent in the needs of local military families. A food drive is also planned. All proceeds above the cost of the production will be distributed to military families in need through Cooperative Christian Ministry.
“Their purpose is to come into a community and be able to generate the enthusiasm to serve the community,” Ed Hosack, executive director of Cooperative Christian Ministry said of Community Impact Productions. “As they represent the engine, we represent the tracks to get the proceeds out into the community.
“We will use those funds either to distribute food into the community or the financial proceeds to help families, particularly military families with financial needs.”
Tickets to the event are available for $12 at local Christian bookstores and, if the show isn’t sold out, at the door the night of the show. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
A portion of the show will be performed in the food court at Concord Mills at 7 p.m. June 14.

• Contact Jonathan E Coleman at [email protected] or 704-789-9105.

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