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Concert to benefit wildfire victims

The man who sang his way into the hearts of Americans with a song about a pony named “Wildfire” soon will be singing about wildfire in another way. Cowboy singer and country performer Michael Martin Murphey has announced a benefit concert to help heal the hearts of people affected by this month’s devastating wildfires that flashed across the Texas Panhandle.

The benefit concert is set for 2 p.m., Saturday, April 15, at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo, Texas. Murphey and the Texas Farm Bureau will be teaming up with NPR Commentator and Cowboy Poet Baxter Black, Texas Poet Laureate Red Steagall, Walker, Texas Ranger Co-Star and singer R.J. Vandygriff, and other performing artists. Additional details are available at .

Texas Forestry Service officials said the Panhandle fires killed 11 people, and claimed nearly 1 million acres of land. Officials said the fire was the single largest mobilization of firefighters in Texas history, with more than 700 professional and volunteer firefighters lending their services during the week-long blazes. There are also reports of around 10,000 head of livestock being killed by the flames. Dozens of homes, barns and outbuildings were laid to waste, and miles of fence lines and power lines were in ruins.

“Hearing about the devastation and how these fires swept through to change the lives of numerous families in the Panhandle area, really touched my heart,” Murphey said. “When agriculture people are hurting, other rural people are always quick to step forward. This concert also will provide a venue and a relief vehicle for all Americans to help make a difference.”

Tickets for the concert go on sale at 10 a.m. (CST) Saturday, March 25, through and all regular ticket outlets in Texas. Tickets are $30 plus service charges. A limited number of seats are available for this meaningful Easter weekend concert, according to Murphey, a member of the Texas Farm Bureau and a devoted advocate for agriculture. Murphey also performs the theme song for the new PBS agriculture series, America’s Heartland.

In addition, if you cannot attend the concert you can also make donations in several other ways.

If you’d like to help provide hay, fencing materials, personal items and even financial contributions, phone or e-mail your pledge to Texas Farm Bureau’s Gene Hall, (254) 751-2246, [email protected] , or mail checks to Gene Hall at: Texas Farm Bureau, P.O. Box 2689, Waco, TX. 76702-2689. Make checks payable to Texas Farm Bureau Research and Education Foundation. All monetary donations are tax deductible. Additional information can also be found at the Texas Farm Bureau Web site ( ).

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