Santee’s Concert by the Lakes provides services to local youth and families with stellar entertainment
Adela Parra is a recipient of the Santee Lakeside Rotary Club’s scholarship program. This scholarship is given to “at risk of graduating” high school students as an incentive to graduate and then continue on with higher education at college, whether it be community, university or trade. It provides students two years of paid tuition, books and parking. Without it, Parra said that she would not be where she is today without the help of the Rotary and the Santee Lakes Foundation. And that is what the Concert at the Lakes is all about, and more. It also raises funds for youth programs and continuously provides premium family education, recreation and preservation at Santee Lakes.
Parra said it is important that people support these events, donate or get involved and that she is a living example of the benefits of this community’s philanthropic spirit.
Parra said that when you provide someone an education it causes a chain reaction that changes that person’s life, their family, and ultimately the community.
“Earning my degree gave me the tools and my job and the ability to navigate that with having kid,” she said. “It is huge. I have 22 years of experience in academic advising, so I paid my dues forward every single day when I go to work. I am very proud of it. I get to talk to students just like myself. Lost and they don’t know how to navigate through school, and at the end of it, I get to see them go out and get better jobs.”
This year’s Concert at the Lakes, with a phenomenal lineup of music, great food and better company, not only did this event fulfill its intentions, but once again provided a night of premium community engagement. Generous donors provided a diversity of silent auction items to help fund the many programs these organizations provide for the people at large. The heat of the day quickly paled to the entertainment. From the first song, the dance floor filled until the front of a stage became a mosh pit.
Mirage-Visions of Fleetwood Mac lit up the crowd immediately with “Say You Love Me.” From “Sara” to “Landslide” lead singer Michelle Tyler personified the sound and style of Stevie Nicks. The sound of the entire band was authentic, surprising and embodied the nature of the Fleetwood Mac and the crowd responded to each note in every song. They were more than entertaining. It justly was an accolade to the Fleetwood Mac legacy.
Then The Long Run—Experience the Eagles came on stage and the rocked Santee Lakes. Beginning with some classic Eagle songs “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feelings” they soon kicked it up a notch with “Dirty Laundry.” By the time the band hit “Hotel California” it was clear that The Long Run understood what made the Eagles’ music unbound by time. From vocals to sick guitar riffs, it is easily understood why they are considered as the greatest Eagles tribute band in America. They took it to the limit and a bit beyond. Mixing it up a bit, The Long Run’s Kenny Cetera and Mirage’s Michelle Tyler did a beautiful version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Leather and Lace.”
It was a night to remember, and a night not to forget. This entire event was staged, maintained and delivered by volunteers. Last year’s Concert by the Lakes that was cancelled at the last minute due to rain was quickly forgotten. It is important to note that though the prior year’s cancellation was unforeseen, the people still came through with pure bigheartedness. All that volunteered, purchased tickets, donated gifts, monies, their charity remained with so many turning ticket sales into donations, food provided going to shelters, or flowers to hospitals. It was a loss of a concert and celebration, but not a loss to the Santee Lakeside Rotary Club or the Santee Lakes Foundation.
In the midst of all of this great entertainment, Rotary Club John Morley, was named Rotarian of the Year, a privilege of Rotarian President Bill Pommering. Silent Auction items raised needed money for the preservation and education of the beautiful Santee Lakes wetlands and the youth educational programs that both organizations thrive in giving to the community every other day of the year.