May 28th: Van Zandt County Twister Relief Concert in Ben Wheeler

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A benefit has been scheduled for Van Zandt County to help businesses and residents recover from the April 29 tornadoes.

Four people died and more than 50 people were injured, in the storms that ravaged the area. Hundreds of homes, businesses, and properties were destroyed.

The Van Zandt County Twister Relief Concert will be held May 28, at The Pickin’ Porch Park in historic downtown Ben Wheeler.

The benefit features a long list of musicians who are stepping forward to donate their time to the cause. Confirmed performers include Jeff Allen, Wesley Pruitt Band, Will Burgin, Clay Thrash, Austin Layne, Heather Little, Meredith Crawford, Seek the Peace, Buddy and the Flashbacks, Diamondback TX, Chad Bennett, TuTu Jones and blacktopGYPSY.

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $20 per person at the gate. All proceeds will go to the Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund managed by First State Bank of Ben Wheeler for the victims.

Instigated by Canton’s own Wesley Pruitt, the benefit holds special meaning to him.

“Canton is my hometown. Personally, this has been so heartbreaking and emotional,” Pruitt said “The whole town went dark that night. There was no light anywhere except for emergency responders. Wanting to help in the days to come I knew that musicians could be a much-needed light for so many.”

Besides a full day of concerts on two stages, a kids’ area will include bounce houses and performances by Johnny Magic.

Food trucks and other refreshments will be available on site.

A silent auction is also taking place during the event.

A Facebook page, Van Zandt County Twister Relief Concert, shows regular updates for the event. For VIP tables, auction donations, sponsorship opportunities, and more information on the event, call Emily Dunn at 903.567.1111 or email