Country star Ashley Wineland to perform at Volga City Opera House for CCSF

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On April 22, country star Ashley Wineland will perform at the Volga City Opera House for a family-friendly concert to benefit the Central Community Scholarship Fund. (Contributed photo)

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


On April 22, country music star Ashley Wineland will perform at the Volga City Opera House for a family-friendly concert to benefit the Central Community Scholarship Fund (CCSF). 


The concert is being organized by Elkader Celebration, which is Kathleen and Mike [McShane]Concert Promotions, or better known to the community as GEAR Elkader. While this is their second foray into the concert world while in Elkader, they have a track record that stretches back to 2005 when they were involved in a weekend festival in metro Detroit. 


Since that time, the couple has promoted over 20 shows across the Midwest, and that experience, along with a previous partnership, made them an obvious choice for the CCSF, which is “always looking for new ways to fundraise in order to ensure that there is scholarship money available to Central Community graduates for many years to come,” said CCSF Board President Courtney Vorwald.


“We asked Mike and Kathleen to attend one of our board meetings to explain what type of fundraiser they were able to organize and share their ideas for this event,” Vorwald added. “Mike and Kathleen have a lot of experience organizing events and have connections with talented musicians, so the CCSF Board decided to move forward with working with them.”


Once all expectations were laid out and agreed upon, the next stop was securing funding and sponsorships, a process  CCSF contributed to financially, as well as assisting with event promotion. Sponsors are a who’s who list of local businesses and familiar names, including C.J. Moyna & Sons, GEAR Elkader, Luana Savings Bank, Carnes Bros. Music, Elkader Pit Stop, Mueser Lumber and Gifford Insurance Agency, among numerous others. 


With funding in place, the next obstacle was securing a venue, which came rather easily once Elkader Celebration reached out to the Volga City Opera House, who offered the venue free of charge. 


“We contacted them with the idea of Volga because they are our friends first, and soon to be future business associates. They offered for free because they too are community minded and the people whom live in Volga also send their children to Central,” Elkader Celebration explained. 


The venue was also chosen because it has a dance floor and allows beverage consumption. If the drive to Volga is a deal breaker, there will be a shuttle service for the event as well. Sign up is available since space is limited. The service, which will be funded by Central Community Schools, will depart from GEAR Elkader and TD’s Sports Bar and Grill at 3 p.m. 


The next particular on the list was food. For this concert, food trucks are being brought in with Birds Chicken of Dubuque and Antonio’s Mexican Food Truck of Vinton. According to Elkader Celebration, the event will also feature trivia games, most likely music trivia, in which the audience can win prizes, though what those will be remains a secret.


Perhaps the biggest piece of the concert puzzle was securing a performer who would lure in a crowd. For that, Elkader Celebration chose Wineland, who already has a devoted fan base known as “Winelanders.” 


The 25-year-old Arizona native started recording at 13, and has since released three albums and performed the National Anthem at countless sporting events, including MLB, NFL, NASCAR and the Supercross Championships. Wineland is also well known for her tireless support of the nation’s veterans. Her song “No Prince Charming” debuted at number two on iTunes in the category of “Best New Country Music” in 2015. 


According to Elkader Celebration, the choice of Wineland was because “her music has many high energy songs, which will get people dancing, and local artists can be seen many times in a year, so we always try to bring in talent from outside the region like national touring artists.” 


As a bonus, Wineland reduced her rate since the concert is essentially a school fundraiser. 


Elkader Celebration pointed out that 100 percent of all ticket sales will go directly to the CCSF. Ten percent of bar sales will be donated by the opera house, and an unknown percentage will be donated by the food trucks. 


So far, over 100 tickets have been sold to the concert, with many more still available. Tickets can be purchased at GEAR Elkader, by calling (563) 213-5537 for available hours at Volga City Opera House and via They will also be available when doors open at 2 p.m. The concert begins at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 7 p.m. The bar will close at 10 p.m., and Antonio’s will be serving from 2 to 8 p.m.


When it comes to the future for Elkader Celebration, one should expect more concerts and fundraisers, specifically for Central. 


“We will always only do Central benefit concerts. The children is the reason. Since we do not have any, we like to help in this small way. We have always liked music and since we do not play instruments, this is a way to be involved in an art we love,” Elkader Celebration said.

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