Ann Gutierrez and her son Nick have never actually met USMC Lance Corporal Kyle Moser, who was seriously injured in November while serving in Afghanistan.
But they want to help.
Calling it ‘A Night of Stars and Stripes’ Gutierrez has organized a benefit concert that will feature tribute artists for acts that include Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson andRitchie Valens. The Change of Habit Tribute Band will also be performing. Gutierrez’s son, who went to with Moser, himself does a tribute of a young Elvis and Ritchie Valens. Special guests will also include Keenan Cahill and Commodore Tom.
Gutierrez described Cahill as “huge superstar on YouTube with the teenagers,” and he’s worked in music videos with 50 Cent and Katy Perry. Commodore Tom is an Elvis tribute artist.
The concert will take place on Friday, September 21 at the Timber Creek Convention Center in Sandwich. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:00 p.m.
The VIP seats, which cost $25 and are closest to the stage, have almost sold out, said Gutierrez. There are still general admission seats for $20, all of which can be purchased at the door or by visiting the Facebook page and mailing a check.
“We want to do anything we can do to help Kyle and his family,” said Gutierrez.
Moser was badly injured in Afghanistan in November by an improvised explosive device. He lost both his legs and part of his right hand in the explosion. He has been in recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland ever since.
Right now Moser is being fitted for prosthetic legs and is in rehab, said Gutierrez. While she has never officially met Moser, she has spoken with his parents and step-mother and chatted with Moser over email.
“He’s strikes me because he’s so positive and strong,” said Gutierrez. “He’s not like ‘why me?’ but rather ‘why not me?’ He’s like this is what he’s been given, and this is what he’ll work with.”
Moser’s family recently purchased a truck for him that has fitted pedals and was made to accommodate him. Moser’s mother has also received a grant to build a house with features to accommodate Moser and is looking for a contractor.
“We’re going to give them whatever we raise, and that will go towards the future, for whatever needs they may be,” said Gutierrez.
In addition to the tribute artists, the event will also be featuring a raffle with items from the White Sox and art from Joe Petruccio, a “big artist in the Elvis world.”
The largest item Gutierrez said they’ll be raffling off is a guitar signed by country music singer and songwriter Justin Moore.
For those that cannot make it to the event but would like to help, donations can be made payable to Benefit for LCpl Kyle Moser and mailed to Chase Bank, 3419 Orchard Road, Oswego, IL. 60543.