Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

June 6, 2014

The big ticket: High profile fun for a good cause

— — The countdown to the biggest concert of the summer is now underway. The Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias Concert is only 15 days away. And it benefits a great cause in our region.

Florida Georgia Line with special guest Nelly will headline the June 21 concert at Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield. The concert itself is now sold out on Ticketmaster. But tickets — and good seats — are still available locally at all Grant’s Supermarkets locations, Paper & More in downtown Bluefield, Va., and the offices of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce. So if you plan on attending this year’s concert, now would be a good time to get the remaining tickets while they are still available.

As in past years, a portion of the funds raised from this year’s concert will benefit the Second Chance Learning Center, a local non-profit agency that helps young people in the region earn a high school diploma and move on to college.

“We help kids graduate high school,” Erik Robinson, who helped to co-found the learning center along with Tazewell native and retired Major League Baseball Closer Billy Wagner, said. “We offer free counseling, mentoring and tutoring to help kids graduate high school, and we’ve given out over $85,000 in scholarships to help kids attend college.”

Robinson and Wagner are hoping that funds raised by this year’s concert will help the Second Chance Learning Center to open more locations in the near future.

Second Chance currently operates a center in Bluefield, Va. Robinson said a learning center in the town of Tazewell, Va., had to be closed, but he says officials are now hoping to reopen it. Robinson and Wagner also are looking at the city of Bluefield and the town of Richlands, Va., as possible locations for additional learning centers.

It is our hope that the learning center can expand, and help additional children throughout the region. And everyone who attends this month’s concert will be helping to make that dream a reality.

And what a concert it should be. Flordia George Line — one of the most popular acts in country music — has made the Second Chance Rocks the Virginias Concert a part of their official “This Is How We Roll” summer series tour. So this is the real deal as far as big-time concerts go. And the addition of popular rapper Nelly only adds to the tremendous headline value of this year’s show.

Make no mistake about it. This is the biggest summer concert our region has seen in years. Let’s make it a stunning success. And let’s pack every seat at Mitchell Stadium for a great cause on June 21.

We can have a lot of fun while helping at-risk students across our region. Every student deserves a fighting chance when it comes to graduating from high school — and getting a shot at a higher education in college. And the Second Chance Learning Center is helping to make this dream a reality for dozens of youngsters in our region.

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