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Musical entertainers help make wishes come true

By Allen Brewer

news@oxfordeagle.com

Local and regional musical performers are working together to bring hope to sick children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Former American Idol contestant Thomas Stringfellow and YouTube Singer Tristan Blaine are two of several musical acts who will perform at the Tupelo Bim Bam Burgers this weekend to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. The money from ticket sales and 50 percent of all the restaurant’s sales will go to the charity that grants the wishes of children battling life-threatening illnesses like cancer.

Stringfellow, 18, from Bentonville, Arkansas was one of the top-12-finalist on the final season of America Idol. Since staring on the popular television show, Stringfellow has toured the country and is an advocate for foster care programs.

Blaine, 17, from Dallas, Texas is know for his online music videos on YouTube. The viral singer has also worked with the organization Sara Smiles and speaks to middle school children to spread awareness on bullying.

This marks the fist time that both singers have worked together or have worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation. The teens hope to continue

to work with Make-A-Wish in the future.

“I believe you can get a lot enjoyment out of helping others,” Blaine said Thursday at the Oxford Bim Bam restaurant where he and Stringfellow spent the morning promoting the upcoming show in Tupelo. “I love helping others. I think others should too.”

The singers were contacted by Lee Wilson, Bim Bam Burger district supervisor. While they hope to bring new customers to the restaurant chain, the added boost of helping a cause like Make-A-Wish only makes the event more important.

“Lots of things start with an idea — every thing starts with one person,” Stringfellow said.

Among other guests speaking at the concert will be Sam Farris, a University of Mississippi student who was a former “wish” recipient. Farris received his wish for his own baseball field 10 years ago when he was battling cancer, and will now acts as a representative for the organization.

“I think it is a great way to get recognition for Make-A-Wish,” Farris said. “It’s good for people to get involved and to give back to kids who haven’t exactly received a fair hand.”   

The event begins today at the Tupelo Bim Bam’s branch, located on South Gloster by the new Walmart and continues throughout Saturday.

The concert is free to the public, but VIP tickets, which include a private meeting with the musical acts, will cost $15 in advance and $20 dollars at the door. Half of all the total sales from the local North Mississippi Bim Bam Burgers restaurants will also go to Make-A-Wish on these dates; the burger chain hopes to give $8,000 in proceeds.

“Bim Bam Burger is going to do the best it can for the community,” Wilson said. “Make-A-Wish is a great cause to get involved with.”