Local News

May 29, 2014

Gospel expo aims to bring community together

Eldora Davis spent her life working to bring people together and encourage them to live in love and harmony, says granddaughter Jennifer Austin.

So when some of her family members and friends started looking for ways to honor the memory of Davis, who died in 2011, they quickly settled on holding a gospel music expo.

“We all seem to live in our own little part of Dalton, and we are looking for a way to get everyone out of their little boxes and come together as one community,” Austin said.

The Eldora Davis Gospel Expo 2014 will be Saturday, June 7, at Dalton Green starting at 11 a.m. Admission will be free, but the event will be a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Georgia Mountains, which pairs up children in Whitfield and Murray counties with adult mentors, so organizers will be soliciting donations to that organization.

“We are asking people to give what they can. For some people, that might be $5. For some others, it might be $100,” Austin said.

There’s also no sign-up fee for choirs, singers, vocal groups and musicians who want to perform, and organizers hope to attract groups from churches across the region.

“We are all usually in our own churches on Sunday,” said Bishop Stephen Thomas, pastor of Dalton’s Community Fellowship Church and a godson of Davis.

“This will give everyone a chance to see and hear what this community has to offer,” Thomas said.

Awards will be presented in several categories, including adult choir, youth choir, best musical instrument performance and for men’s, women’s and youth solo. The audience will vote, with each vote costing $1.

“These awards are just for fun. It isn’t about the competition. This is just another way to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Thomas said.

Austin said organizers chose Big Brothers Big Sisters because they have had family members go through the program and they know what an impact it has on those who take part in it.

“We want this to become an annual event, and each year we will support a different organization,” she said.

Organizers are also looking for vendors to serve food. The fee to be a vendor is $25.

“We want this to be a ‘taste of Dalton,’” Austin said. “We are encouraging vendors to serve something unique and let people know what they have to offer. This will also be a good way to get your business out in front of the people. I was talking to one lady who said she is starting up a cupcake business, and I told her this was a great way to let people know about it.”

Organizers would like to have all of their acts and vendors signed up by Wednesday. Those who are interested in taking part should call (706) 278-0702. For more information on the Eldora Davis Gospel Expo 2014, go to edge.kintera.org.

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