3rd Operation Giving Back Christmas at Middletown’s Old Crow Bar

By Mike Ritchie

Photo: Operation Giving Back Christmas vet Chris Casey of Casey and The Nobodies from last year’s event; photo: Teri Spence

For the third year in a row, KuttingEdge Promotions will host Operation Giving Back Christmas, a benefit to help families in need during the holidays. This year, instead of a door charge, entry can be gained with a gift card, toy, or family item. All presents and proceeds go to families in need.

Several local bands have performed the past two years: Casey and The Nobodies, Secret Circle Society (formally Clockwork Soul), and Dear Agony have all contributed to the holiday benefit, while The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ’s Skull Dollz have painted faces both years. There’s some new blood coming to the Old Crow stage this year with New Age Sinners, Down Strange Charm, Saving Escape (Kala Rose), Shotgun Surprise, Temper, and headliners Four Star Revival.

“Pretty much everyone we’ve had [has] been there every year,” says promoter Teri Spence. “Shane West has been a part of it, one way or another each year. First year was Pink Velvet Krush, last year was Sacred Edge, and this year is New Age Sinners.”

“We make sure kids have a Christmas,” she says, regarding the benefit’s mission. “The first two years, we helped families involved with The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ.” This year, they’re helping two families from the church. Co-promoter Phyllis Mason Carmack is helping a family, whose teenage son has Crohn’s disease, have a Christmas despite medical bills. Four families will receive help this year, including 10 children and a father with leukemia.

Carmack says putting on shows is all in good fun. “There’s no competition. We just do shows to have fun… We got a good roster of bands we deal with that are the same way. If there’s a great turn out, great. If not, that’s cool too; it’s all for the fun of it.”

Secret Circle Society is excited to be part of the festivities. “Our band has a big heart; we try to help people,” says vocalist and guitarist Dawn Rose. “If everyone came together and helped people, the world would be a better place.”

“It’s an honor for my band, Secret Circle Society, to participate in Operation Giving Back Christmas,” adds vocalist Mystie Rose. “To put a smile on a child’s face, that’s the ultimate! We appreciate KuttingEdge Promotions for allowing us to be part of this event every year!”

KuttingEdge was originally a joint project of Spence and a friend, who has since left for another company, giving Spence the name and her blessing. “First we were M&M management for six or seven months, then we switched to KuttingEdge after numerous candy and rap jokes. We’ve been KuttingEdge Promotions for a year and a half,” Spence explains.

Performer Chris Casey says Operation Giving Back Christmas has been Spence’s labor of love from the very start: “She’s shown us how to come together and put our hearts into something good. This year, I’m honored and humbled to be the MC, as well as performing. I’m looking forward to being on stage to introduce so many talented people, and help raise funds and hope for families in need.

“I’ve had the honor and pleasure of kicking [off] Operation Giving Back Christmas the past two years,” Casey adds. “I believe one of the best things we can do as people is help local families, people that are truly our neighbors, who are struggling. That is exactly what Operation Giving Back Christmas is about.”

Four Star Revival guitarist Benny Bodine is also eager to get involved. “[We are] looking forward to the third annual Operation Giving Back Christmas show, as we love playing shows for good causes,” Bodine says. “This is our first show with KuttingEdge Promotions and our first time playing with any of the other bands, so we’re looking forward to some great music for a great cause.”

The Skull Dollz, led by Rachel Smith, will return for the third year, painting half faces with sugar, skulls, and spice. The group paints at many events and functions, taking requests and offering pre-made designs. Inspired by Ephesians, the 10th book of the New Testament, which encourages followers to serve in unity and love, the Skull Dollz are doing their part. They also reach out to women and young girls with disorders, disabilities, and other issues, offering support. “We go all over, meeting all types of people,” Smith says. “All proceeds go to supplies.”

Food will be provided, and there will be raffles for band merchandise. “We usually take donations at the door but this year, people can bring gifts,” Spence says. A want/need list will be posted and people can bring a gift or gift card instead of cash at the door if they choose. There will be nine bands this year, and there’s always a crowd, so get there early and bring a gift with your Christmas spirit.

The third annual Operation Giving Back Christmas will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 at Old Crow Bar, 1217 Jackson Ln. in Middletown. The show starts at 5:45 p.m. and is $5 for patrons age 21 and over, $8 for patrons age 18-20, or a gift donation at the door. For more information, please call 513.422.1905 or visit Facebook.com/KuttingEdgePromo.


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Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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