Come and Rock the Night Away!

Rockin the night The Marshall Tucker Band, one of the major Southern rock bands of the ‘70s with hits such as “Heard It In a Love Song,” “Fire On The Mountain,” “Can’t You See,” and “Take The Highway,” returns to Asbury Park for the first time in 12 years on Sunday, June 16. The band will be headlining the Rockin’ with Spirit concert at The Stone Pony that evening to benefit the Spirit of a Child Foundation.

The Nick Clemons Band, featuring the son of “Big Man” Clarence Clemons, and Donovan Chapman, a former elite Special Operations Command Pararescue who served in the US Air Force for 11 years before pursuing American country music professionally, will also perform at the Rockin’ with Spirit concert, which will be only the second appearance in Asbury Park by The Marshall Tucker Band during the past 20 years.

Formed in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1971, The Marshall Tucker Band’s style combines rock, country and jazz. The group has issued 37 albums, four of them earning Platinum and five Gold sales status. Still led by founding member and lead singer Doug Gray, the group has continued to write, record, tour, and entertain fans from around the world.

“After being around for over 40 years, it is an honor and gives us great pleasure to support the Spirit of a Child Foundation and the families they help,” said Gray. “Giving back to these organizations is the least we can do for the people who have been our family and friends for all these years. Looking forward to seeing old friends and our new families there.”

“The Stone Pony was chosen to host the event in order to help bring business back to the local economy of the Sandy-ravaged Jersey Shore,” said Spirit of a Child Foundation President Sharon Wynn, a former resident of Wall.

“I have been watching the devastation in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. If this had been Myrtle Beach, Charleston, or any of our coastlines we would be so sad to lose family, memories, and property,” Gray wrote on Facebook three days after superstorm Sandy struck last autumn, shortly before The Marshall Tucker Band’s semi-truck full of relief supplies headed north. “I have donated and will continue to work to help these people, many of which I know and love. They not only have supported the band forever but also support our beaches and South Carolina by visiting and having homes here.”

The Rockin’ with Spirit event will help fund the Spirit of a Child Foundation’s 2013 Parent-Child Project, a nature retreat for low-income families to participate in environmental education and activities that require family members to work together and build healthy communication skills from July 26 through 28 at NorthBay Adventure Camp in Elk Neck State Park, Maryland.

“The criterion for the participating families is that they are in a situation of financial hardship, such as a parent living with cancer, a family living in extreme poverty, or a military family adversely affected by combat who may suffer from a physical or emotional injury, including post-traumatic stress disorder or a loss of a parent,” said Wynn.

Ten families will investigate and learn about the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay wetlands, which includes access to hiking trails within Elk Neck State Park. They will also experience the highest ropes course in Maryland, a newly-constructed low ropes course, 500-foot zip lines over the Chesapeake Bay, and an indoor and outdoor rock climbing wall. In addition, the Spirit of a Child Foundation will sponsor a country music concert during the weekend.

This year, the Spirit of a Child Foundation has sought families in dire need of help because of superstorm Sandy from Operation Homefront Tri-State, which serves New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, and from UrbanPromise in Camden, NJ, to attend the Parent-Child Project.

ABC’s 20/20 news magazine program with Diane Sawyer joined the Spirit of a Child Foundation in Colorado in 2007 to film footage for its special “Waiting on the World to Change,” which featured Camden as one of the country’s poorest and distressed cities.

More information on sponsorship packages, which include a pre-concert reception with The Marshall Tucker Band, is available at http://www.spiritofachild.org/rockinsponsor.htm. Tickets to the show can be purchased directly from the Spirit of a Child Foundation at www.spiritofachild.org.