BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The work of Dick Anderson and Sam Irmen left a mark on many residents, including those who have chosen to honor the two with an upcoming concert.
On Thursday, August 3, Paul Thorn, with special guest Chris Shutters, will perform an acoustic benefit concert at the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St.
The concert will benefit Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity in memory of Anderson and Irmen, who provided their time and resources to the organization.
“To pay tribute to these two is really awesome. We want to recognize their contributions to Maumee Valley Habitat,” said Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity executive director Mike McIntyre.
Both Irmen and Anderson had been important figures in Maumee and Northwest Ohio over the decades, working for The Andersons and providing for their community.
“Mike Mock – the concert was his brainchild and he’s the one that recognized after having worked at The Andersons for so long how Dick and Sam were tremendous leaders – and it was Mike’s goal to pay tribute to Dick and Sam,” McIntyre said.
Mock had known both men for many years and was amazed at how much care they had for their community, so he knew the event had to be really special.
He wanted Thorn and Shutters to perform for guests and provide an excellent show for the Anderson and Irmen families and local residents.
“We want to have both Chris and Paul independently play their songs acoustically,” Mock said. “It’s kind of a tribute to songwriting and to honor the two men who were huge supporters of Habitat for Humanity.”
According to McIntyre, the work of Irmen and Anderson laid the foundation for the work that Habitat for Humanity does now in Lucas County.
They were able to help the organization during a nationwide Blitz Build, where seven houses were built over the course of one week in the area.
The men also brought valuable attention to the organization and its mission, McIntyre added.
“It’s always good to acknowledge somebody that made a contribution like these two fellas did. They might be gone, but their legacy is remaining because of how generous they were, so that makes it something I want to be a part of,” Thorn said.
Thorn, who grew up in Tupelo, Miss., said he likes to use his talents to help others when he can, so working a benefit concert like this one is important to him.
He understands that many people struggle with the costs of daily bills and finding safe housing, so he was happy to make the stop part of his tour schedule.
While Thorn is currently traveling with his band, for this concert attendees can expect to see just him on stage.
“Every now and then, I’ll do a thing that’s just me and my guitar. I’ll come up there, sing songs, tell jokes and stories and it’s fun. I like to see people smiling when I look out into the crowd,” Thorn said.
Thorn has a wide variety of songs he’s written and performed across the country, which can be found on YouTube for those interested in becoming familiar with his work before the concert.
“I think everybody who comes to this will enjoy themselves, I really do,” Thorn said.
Along with Thorn, guests will see Shutters on the stage performing his own music for the crowd.
“These guys are gifted, not just as players and singers, but as songwriters,” Mock said. “It’s a wonderful combination of a good facility, great honorees, a wonderful organization to generate money for and a first-rate show.”
Tickets for the event are $20.00 and can be purchased through a link on maumeeindoor.com.
Doors will open at 6:00 p.m., on Thursday, August 3, with the show starting at 7:00 p.m.
“I am most excited about just being able to celebrate the legacy of Dick and Sam with some great musical artists and to bring the public up to speed with all the wonderful things they contributed to Habitat years ago and how that has created a platform for us to serve more families here in Lucas County,” McIntyre said.
In addition to the music, guests will have the opportunity to hear more about Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity and how to support the mission.