Annual Memorial Day Tribute at EPC Will Have a New Flair


Published on May 5 2014 5:41 am
Last Updated on May 5 2014 5:41 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Three Chicks and a Stage and the Effingham Performance Center present USO Live, a tribute to our veterans and military.

The sixth annual show is scheduled for Memorial Day, May 26, at 3:00 p. m. at the Effingham Performance Center.

The Chicks have completely changed the format of this year's show, adopting the USO show theme. In interviews over the years, the Chicks have learned about our local USO Club.

"USO Live, broadcasting from Effingham, Illinois," features the FACE Orchestra performing big band tunes and the Matt Poss Band playing well-known and original songs. The Mattoon High School JROTC "Gladiators" Drill Team returns for their third appearance. Solo artists include Robby Sams; Heather Mumma, Lauren Ozenkoski, and Allie Keck accompanied by Janet Poe. Imagine Greg Sapp of 979XFM/KJ Country 102.3 playing "Bob Hope," Charlie Niehaus playing his sidekick "Jerry Colonna," and Jo Thomas playing "Phyllis Diller."

The 75-member cast includes veterans from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans. Matt Passalaqua and the Matt Poss Band, who have participated in USO tours in Afghanistan and Europe, will share their experiences with Greg Sapp and the audience. The band will play "The Man Who Came Down from the Mountain," an original song influenced by their experiences in Afghanistan.

Tickets are all general admission. They go on sale Monday, May 5 and can be purchased at the Effingham Performance Center Box Office or by calling (217) 540-2788 during box office hours from 11:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m., Monday through Friday. Tickets cost $14 for adults and $8 for veterans, military and children under 12. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, now serving all of Central and Southern Illinois.

Please note: there will not be a Central Illinois Honor Flight fundraiser and meal at the Knights of Columbus Building this year. The Chicks invite everyone to come out early to enjoy a barbecue lunch complete with musical entertainment by Andy Rueter, Allie Keck and others. Veterans and military will receive a complimentary lunch with a paid show ticket. Meal prices are $7 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Served from 11:00am to 2:30 pm, the meal includes pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans and dessert.

The Chicks encourage everyone to buy their tickets early, before show day, to help determine how much food to prepare.

Three Chicks and a Stage is a non-profit community theatre organization in residence at the Effingham Performance Center.