Branson Cares For Joplin Keeps on Raising Funds

“Help our Joplin neighbors” was the message the Branson community wanted delivered during the live Branson Cares For Joplin Benefit Concert & Telethon, and clearly, generous viewers and concert attendees got the message. As of August 19, 2011, The League of Branson Theatre Owners & Show Producers (The Branson Show League) is pleased to announce that $202,732.29 of the pledged monies has been collected and a little over $20,000 in pledges is still outstanding. “To have over 90% of the money collected at this point is amazing,” says Cindy Merry, Branson Show League Marketing Chair, “and we expect to see most of the outstanding pledges collected over the next few weeks. Wouldn’t it be something to be able to say that of the estimated $221,000 pledged on the night of the benefit, we collected a hundred percent? Help us reach that goal – if you’ve pledged a donation, please try and send it in by September 5th as there will be a formal check presentation to St John’s Mercy Hospital/Joplin during that week.”

Renee Johnson, Branson Show League Executive Director adds, “Of the monies already collected the Branson Show League has distributed $45,000 to the Joplin Band Booster account, $5,000 to the St Mary’s Catholic School Music program, and $1,000 dollars each to Palen Music and Hoover Music for instrument repairs. We’re also happy to report that over 300 instruments have been donated for the schools, with an estimated value of roughly $90,000 to $100,000. Funds donated to Joplin Band Booster account will be used for any instruments needing repair. In addition the Joplin High School was given two guitars (valued at approximately $4000) a Taylor provided by Doyle Dykes and a Paul Reed Smith provided by Ricky Skaggs. The balance of the collected funds will go to St John’s Mercy Hospital/Joplin.”

“One hundred percent of all donated monies are going to St John’s Mercy Hospital/Joplin and the Joplin Schools’ music programs,” says Jim Barber, of the Hamner Barber Variety Theatre and President of the Branson Show League. “We’d like to thank the volunteers who have spent an incredible amount of time collecting these donations. As performers, show producers, and those working in the entertainment industry, many of us thought that pulling off a benefit concert and telethon in less then 4 weeks was an amazing feat in and of itself. In reality, to complete the mission means getting the money collected and handed over to the folks in need. From databasing pledges for invoicing to returning hundreds of messages, the volunteers have probably spent more time on this than their full-time jobs. Our volunteers really have shown the Branson spirit of caring both for their neighbors and to make sure the job is done right.”

Timothy Dutton, from the Dutton Family Theatre and Branson Show League Board Member, notes that some of the time intensive process involved deciphering hundreds of different handwriting on pledge forms. “We had somewhere close to 200 calls that we made to verify credit card information as there might be something about the information we couldn’t clearly understand a transposed number or expiration date in most cases.” Timothy adds, “Actually the great thing about this was we talked to quite a lot of nice people who were so happy to be helping Joplin. They were sweet.”

The method of how folks communicated their donation was varied. From the traditional check mailed in to credit cards via phone The Branson Show League tried to accommodate everyone. “Texting a pledge was an interesting new way to get donations,” says Susan Weimar, of the Acrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus and a Branson Show League Board Member, “and we had approximately 100 of those, and of course, we had to call each of them to get their credit card information.”

Donations are still being collected. There are approximately 70 calls still to be made to donors to answer queries, clear up donation information, and arrange for collection of donations. Mike Hughes, of the Hughes Brothers Theatre and Branson Show League Business Chair says, “We want to make sure that we raise every bit of money we can to help our friends in Joplin who were devastated by the EF5 tornado. This media release is an update of where we are right now with collections; however we plan to have a nice presentation event in Joplin the first week of September. So again, please send in your pledge right away…and even if you haven’t pledged, feel free to donate now at”

Hollye Gurley, from the Baldknobbers Theatre and Branson Show League Membership Chair, notes that “you can visit and still download the heart-touching songs created for Joplin by our local stars. The songs are Just Hold On by Trey Wilson, Jason Robinson, and Michael W. Davis (a.k.a. Fall Creek Road) and the Joplin Song by Doug Gabriel. A hundred percent of those proceeds also go to help St. John’s Mercy Hospital.”

Ann Stafford, of the Jim Stafford Theatre and Branson Show League Vice-President, adds, “We are truly thankful for the blessing of all the folks who helped achieve this resoundingly successful benefit. There’s a vast list of people who deserve a pat on the back for this community effort to help Joplin. While this particular press release doesn’t name all of those who helped, we do want to continually acknowledge the support of so many. On behalf of our Branson Cares For Joplin committee and the Branson Show League we’d like to say to our performers, production crews, writers, technical teams, those in the telephone room, the on-air talent, benefit organizers, promoters, broadcasters, donation collectors; to those who provided transportation, donations, meals, tickets, services, and silent auction items; and to those who donated time and money; and to anyone who has helped raise these monies; job well done!”

Donations to the Joplin relief effort may be made to:
Branson Cares Joplin Benefit
c/o The League of Branson Theatre Owners and Show Producers
Post Office Box 5083
Branson, Missouri 65615
Or by visiting

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logo Heather Kartholl
The Cat\'s Pajamas
2206 W Hwy 76
Branson, MO   65616

BRANSON, MO – August 2011 – The Cat’s Pajamas – vocal band have been announced as contestants on NBC’s hit a cappella reality show The Sing Off. Branson’s own beloved vocal band will be performing on national TV this fall. Hosted by Nick Lachey this 3rd season of The Sing Off will be showcasing 16 exceptional a cappella groups from around the country. The season premier airs on September 19th, 2011 but the season was pre-taped when The Cat’s Pajamas were in Los Angeles, California last month.

The Cat’s Pajamas are very excited to bring national attention to the wide variety of entertainment that Branson has to offer and hope that their participation on this program will help bring national attention to The Live Music Show Capitol of The World.

At this time, The Cat’s Pajamas are back in Branson and will be performing the remainder of their published schedule at The Branson Mall Music Theatre located at 2206 W Hwy 76. The Cat’s Pajamas regular schedule is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2pm; Wednesday and Friday at 8pm.

The Cat’s Pajamas Box Office Adult Ticket is $32.
Child prices and Family Passes available at the Box Office.
Box office phone number: 417.334.5412
or at

Disclaimer: is a service for the distribution of press releases, news and events. does not verify the validity or accuracy of the contents of the news that it distributes. Users are responsible for the contents of the press releases they submit to and the distribution via our service does not imply endorsement. takes no responsibility and holds no liabilities for information distributed.