Pictured is musician Paul Pollard performing his own original songs for the crowd that gathered at the Markay on  Saturday evening, Nov. 13, including a song written by him and his daughter. (Telegram Photo by Trevor Bailey)
Pictured is musician Paul Pollard performing his own original songs for the crowd that gathered at the Markay on Saturday evening, Nov. 13, including a song written by him and his daughter. (Telegram Photo by Trevor Bailey)

Last weekend, the Markay Cultural Arts Center hosted the annual Rock for Tots charity event where local performers came together to raise money for a yearly Christmas drive that gives gifts and food to local families in need.

In line with the theme of the concert, “Remembering the 60’s” – which took place on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. - musicians John Jones, Bart Wiseman, Craig Klein, David Leach and John Pelletier came together again to play songs from their generation. The group is well-known by the community for their band that has been playing together for decades now. Preceding the local celebrities were musicians Paul Pollard and Philip Murphy who performed their own original songs.

Pollard is well-known for his part in Rock for Tots. He addressed the audience, stating that their organization was inspired by the Live Aid concert of 1985.

“We were a bunch of young, long-haired rock-and-roll guys and gals that wanted to help our town of Waverly,” stated Pollard, explaining the background of Rock for Tots.

When organizers went to purchase the donated items, they decided that it was best to split the money between toys and food. Because of its success, they decided to make it an annual charity drive, wherein they raise tens of thousands of dollars and donate the funds to 35 agencies in Southeastern Ohio.

Joining Pollard on stage was his friend and fan-favorite American Idol performer, Philip Murphy. Murphy and Pollard performed their own original songs for the crowd, one of which being inspired by the interaction Pollard had with a young family who had very little in terms of food or gifts during the holiday season.

All proceeds of the night went towards the Wellston Fire Department’s and Jackson County Gear Grinders’ Toy Drives. According to Pelletier, in 2019, their “Sold Out” concert raised $4,600 for Christmas toys for children in the region. While the current amount raised is unknown, the large  crowd that gathered indicated that the concert was a huge success.