On Sunday, Feb. 21, the Clay Cooper Theatre in Branson is hosting a live concert and auction fundraiser for long-time Branson area resident and veteran Brenda Meadows.
An Army veteran, USO Entertainer, mom, sister, wife, veterans activist and chairperson of the Branson Veteran’s Task Force, Brenda and her husband Marshall have been a part of the Branson area community for many years.
Brenda was exposed to Agent Orange as a USO Entertainer in Vietnam and then again where she was stationed in the army in the U.S. Brenda was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. She has undergone prescribed intense chemotherapy and treatments for several years, but was recently told the chemo and treatments were no longer working, according to Brenda’s daughter Meredith Meadows.
“They’re not working and haven’t been working in several months and it’s caused her condition to worsen. So her doctor suggested an alternative treatment because of the success rate, but the insurance won’t cover it and neither will the VA because it’s not approved by the FDA,” said Meredith. “The VA won’t approve anything if it’s not approved by the FDA, because it’s a government program. So it’s going to have to be out of pocket.”
When people started to learn of Brenda’s situation, Meredith said folks like Clay Cooper, The Haygoods and Pat Veech suggested hosting a benefit show and auction to raise the money needed for Brenda’s treatment.
The concert benefit at the Clay Cooper Theater in Branson begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The show will feature performances from Clay Cooper, Jason and Desta Pritchett, Dean Z, Matt Gumm, The Haygoods and Krista Meadows. Tickets for the show are a suggested donation of $20 or more at the box office. No advance tickets are being sold for the benefit concert and will only be available for purchase at the Clay Cooper Theatre on the day of the show.
For those unable to attend the show in person, Meredith said they can still donate to see the show via the live stream they’ll have going during the concert.
“The show starts at 3 p.m. It’s a 90 minute show. Live stream is available,” said Meredith. “In order to get the live link you have to pay the $20 and then you can watch the show. Just because of COVID-19 and because of the weather, we just thought that would be necessary to do.”
Ahead of the benefit show on Sunday, Meredith shared they’ll be hosing a silent in-person auction from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Clay Cooper Theatre. They’re also conducting an online Facebook auction where people can go online and place bids for items now through 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“In the auction we’ve had items donated by the Clay Cooper Theatre, Tony Orlando, Table Rock Marina … Imax donated stuff, the Branson Chamber donated stuff, the Cox family, the Branson Center Stage (and many more). It’s just been an outpouring from the community. We’ve just been tremendously blessed and very humbled by the response people have had,” said Meredith. “Our friends, family members, the Table Rock community, the Branson community and even the greater Springfield area, they’ve just been so supportive. Especially like the religious community. Even some of the people in the churches and ministry have shared the information and have been praying for us. We appreciate those prayers.”
Meredith added that the support the family has seen from the community has been overwhelming at times.
“I just want to say thank you for all the support that we’ve gotten from the community. I can’t even tell you. Her condition is worsening the last couple of months and we didn’t know how we were going to do it,” said Meredith. “I mean God is so good and Branson has been so good and the people in this community have been so good. As soon as they found out about the benefit, they’re just giving their time and efforts and donations. We just can’t stop crying.”
Upon reflecting on the outpouring of love from people in recent weeks, Meredith said her mom has been so appreciative.
“She’s been brought to tears a few times too. I just think she’s sown so much into this community, out of not expecting anything in return, just because she loves the people and loves the lord. I told her, ‘Mom you’ve sown good seeds for many years and now you’re just starting to reap the harvest,’” said Meredith. “She’s done everything in her power, if somebody had a fundraiser or something and needed to raise money for medical expenses or for veterans or whatever, she worked tirelessly, without pay and without wanting anything in return. Just to help … She’s like, ‘Why are they doing this for me? Why are they helping me?’ I said, ‘Mom they just love you, because you’ve been there for them.’”
To purchase tickets to the live stream event visit www.itickets.com/events/451663.html. The show will also be archived and available to watch for two weeks after the show, for those who would prefer to get tickets to watch the show at a later time.
The online Facebook auction items can be found and bid on by visiting fb.me/e/15ZoPIzyU. Additional information on the benefit concert and auctions, as well as an online Facebook fundraiser and alternative donation methods can be found by visiting facebook.com/events/474557483699640.