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A rocking good time on New Year's Eve
Photo courtesy of Craig Engle: Kyle Brooks, right, and Dorian Lamb perform with The Rhythm & Beards. The band's next concert will be New Year's Eve at Spoons in McKinney. Proceeds from the show will go to Embrace, a local nonprofit that helps children who age out of the foster care system.
By Bill Conrad, email@example.com, @Bill_PlanoStar on Twitter
New Year's Eve parties often feature music, a champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres.
In that respect, the party at Spoons in historic downtown McKinney is like many others throughout Collin County but what makes Spoons' New Year's Eve Rock and Resolutions unique is that proceeds from the event will benefit Embrace, a charity that helps foster children.
"This is all about bringing together a local business, a local band and a local charity," said Kyle Brooks, front man of The Rhythm & Beards, the headlining group on the event's three-band lineup. "We wanted to create an event that not only brought light to Embrace, but we also wanted to make sure people had a really good time."
"We all grew up listening to so many different kinds of music and that influences us," he said. "But we still have that Texas heart and it is hard to let go of that when it is so deep in your blood."
The idea to do a benefit concert during the holiday season came to Brooks several years ago when he was a solo artist. He held several concerts to benefit Toys for Tots but wanted to do something different after forming The Rhythm & Beards six months ago.
"Embrace helps children who have been in foster homes but have never been adopted," he said. "When they are 18, they age out of the system and they may not be sure what to do next -- that is where Embrace comes in."
Tiffany Savage, the transition coordinator at Embrace, said the group helped 400 people last year in the North Texas region, with about 75 of those being from Collin County.
"We want to help kids get a good start by helping them furnish a dorm or an apartment," Savage said. "We provide things like new bedding, pots, pans or shower curtains. Some of the kids have been in nine different homes before turning 18, and many of them have never had anything that was brand new."
In many instances, foster children run away from their foster family before they turn 18, Savage said. In these cases, they may end up homeless or in a temporary facility such as the Transition Resource Action Center in Dallas or City House in Plano.
"They just want to be on their own," she said. "Once they age out they can go live at TRAC or another facility to learn basic living skills.
"However, many kids want to be homeless so we also provide emergency kits that provide goods for three days. We help them the best we can in that situation by giving them some food, bus passes and some money to wash their clothes. Hopefully they then realize homelessness is not as fun as they think it is."
The party begins with Kylan Savage & A Few Good Men at 8:30 p.m., followed by the Tyler Rogers Band at 10 p.m. and The Rhythm & Beards at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 if bought in advance at spoonscafe.com or $35 the night of the show.
Spoons is located at 100 E. Louisiana St. on the southeast side of the square. For information on Embrace, visit embracetexas.org or simplestofgifts.com.
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