Updated Wed, May 15, 2013 10:11 am
A group of Nelsonville natives will be banding together this month to raise money for the Nelsonville Food Cupboard.
The Hitch-Hikers, a classic rock band that was formed by a group of friends at Nelsonville High School in the 1960s, will perform at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville on May 24 at 8 p.m. in hopes of raising funds and gathering food donations for the emergency food pantry.
According to the band’s lead singer, Johnny Flowers, the band was formed while the members were still in high school.
After graduating in 1966, the bandmates went their separate ways, but still got together sporadically to practice. The Hitch-Hikers also reunited for the 45th reunion of their class.
Since 2011, The Hitch-Hikers have been playing annual benefit shows at Stuart’s. Flowers said the first reunion concert in 2011 was organized to raise money for original band member Chuck Mohney, who had multiple sclerosis.
However, two weeks before the show, Mohney died. The band ended up raising more than $7,000 for Mohney’s family to help cover his medical bills.
Last year, the band opted to support the Nelsonville Food Cupboard — raising more than $6,000 for the food pantry. The band is hoping to raise even more money for the cause this year, Flowers said.
According to Flowers, the band receives donations from the community in order to pay the rental cost of Stuart’s Opera House. The money received for concert tickets and T-shirt sales goes directly to the Nelsonville Food Cupboard. Flowers said the event is made possible by the generosity of the Nelsonville community.
Tickets are $10 each in advance or $13 at the door, and shirts are available for a donation of $12.95. Flowers said attendees are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the food pantry.
Flowers said The Hitch-Hikers only perform once a year. As the members have gotten older, the band has taken on a few younger members. The current Hitch-Hikers lineup includes Flowers, Mike Guess, Phil Fawcett, Terry Daugherty, Zach Daugherty and Dusty Johnson. The band performs covers ranging from rock from the late 1950s to the Rolling Stones.
On Monday, Flowers said more than 100 tickets for the show had already been sold. He said the annual shows have packed Stuart’s Opera House over the past two years. The opera house seats about 350 people, Flowers said. He added that some people are flying in from other parts of the country to attend the show.
"It’s pretty phenomenal," he said.
To purchase advance tickets, visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org or call 740-753-1924.