Rockhouse to rock out for reading center

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Rockhouse is planning to rock out this Friday during its first ever fundraising event to benefit a local non-profit after-school enrichment program.

"Rock to Read," the brainchild of Rockhouse owners Rick and Tracy Rhine, will begin at 8:30 p.m. and feature a line-up of local bands such as The Bent Richards, The Chiggers, Crossfire, The Hauskatz and Past Midnight. There will be no cover charge just a requested donation.

The event will raise funds for The Reading Improvement Center, housed at Gobin United Methodist Church, which provides after school tutoring for elementary and secondary students throughout Putnam County.

The center, founded in 1987, is staffed by highly-trained volunteer tutors who provide intensive help to students from elementary school through high school.

While at the center, younger students, funded by the Greencastle Community Schools, focus on word skills and fluency in both individual and group settings. Older students come to the center for scheduled appointments for help with reading and homework.

Reading Improvement Center director Ellen Dittmer says that though the organization receives funds from local schools, the United Way, and charges a small fee on a sliding scale for older students, they have a hole in their budget every year that is filled with donations from the community.

"We don't charge a lot and we don't cost a lot," Dittmer said. "We often rely on the kindness of strangers."

Rock to Read also marks the first fundraising event for the Reading Improvement Center, whose staff has done their own fundraising in years past.

"To organize something like this takes a whole staff of people that we don't have," Dittmer said. "Without the Rockhouse, we couldn't have a fundraiser like this."

According to Rick Rhine, the event will be a night of rock, but the mix of classic rock, country rock, jazz rock and folk music should offer something to please every musical palette.

Rick, also a musician, is hardwired into the Putnam County music scene, allowing him to recruit local bands to play at the event.

"I feel very fortunate that so many of these guys are willing to donate their time," explained Rick. "We are so luck to live in a community where guys are willing to do this."

Though The Rockhouse is no stranger to live musical performances, the owners say Friday's event is the venue's first charity concert, and they are not sure what to expect.

Rick, whose band The Chiggers will close out the evening, says he has just one request: "Come early and stay late."

The Rockhouse is located at 18 S. Jackson St., Greencastle.

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