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BANDS TEAM UP FOR DIAPER DANDIES

BY SCOTT SMITH // Times Record

Area musicians and singers will playfully commandeer a downtown Fort Smith stage, all in the name of helping children.

Fort Smith band The Remnants (shown, clockwise from left, Liz Kaylor, Lloyd Keefer, Richard Nixon and Trevor Hardcastle), the Don Baily Jazz Combo and Sierra Star & Wavy Davy will perform during the third annual Bands for Babies fundraiser, 6-10 p.m. April 8 at La Huerta Mexican Restaurant, 400 Garrison Ave. The free, all-ages benefit supports the Diapers Dandies Ministry. [PHOTO COURTESY THE REMNANTS]

The third annual Bands for Babies fundraiser will be from 6-10 p.m. April 8 at La Huerta Mexican Restaurant, 400 Garrison Ave., and live performances from The Remnants, The Don Bailey Jazz Combo and Sierra Star and Wavy Davy will be of high quality and full of enjoyable tones, said Richard Nixon, one of the event's organizers.

"Last year, we raised a little over $1,600, and we have a goal this year of $2,000," he said. "It takes about $3,000 for every distribution we do. Every dollar raised will go directly to helping our babies."Admission to Bands for Babies is free, while organizers will be accepting donations throughout the evening to support the ministry. The event also is set to include a silent auction, said Nixon, who is the drummer for The Remnants."This will be a great night of fun and music," he said of the fundraiser, which supports the Diaper Dandies Ministry, an outreach program sponsored by St. Paul United Methodist Church that provides diapers, wipes and ointment to area children in need. "We've been preparing for it. It will be fun."

Diaper Dandies Ministry representatives are planning for a late April distribution, Nixon said. The program is unique because there are "no stipulations and no qualifications and no restrictions on anyone," he said. If a baby needs diapers, that baby will get them, Nixon said.

"All we ask for is their name, the age of the child, the size of diapers and a phone number so that we can call them the next time we have a distribution," he said.

The program, which also provides wipes and ointment as supplies allow, was the "brain child" of the church's pastor, Steve Poarch, and the Missions chairwoman, Mary Huss, Nixon said. A volunteer committee of eight is involved, and St. Paul United Methodist Church officials allow the program to use the building and have storage space for supplies, he said.

"Our cost to help each child is approximately $33," Nixon said. "We currently have distributions once a quarter, with a goal of monthly distributions. With our next distribution, we will have served more than 1,000 babies.

"Our committee has received one grant for 2017, otherwise our budget comes strictly from donations from the community," he added. "Since no monies come from the church budget, this Band for Babies benefit is vital to this program."