The kindness of others struck a chord with the locals in the area this past summer when the generosity of strangers gained ground in the community.
In May, many community members gathered together at Fuqua Park when Von Hawks Rising hosted their first annual Rock-n-Rides charity event and concert for Eli Strutton, a young boy battling leukemia cancer. On Friday night in Duncan’s Fuqua Park, the band presented a check totaling $6,5000 to help the family.
Von Hawks Rising, an Oklahoma-based rock band and non-profit organization, put together the fundraising event for the Strutton Family.
Von Hawks Rising began their band in August 2020 with the idea of “having fun, playing some cool music and pushing a positive message.”
David Woods, lead singer, said the band wanted to find a way to help bring joy to people.
“I just really wanted to do some stuff that was fun, that brings joy to people,” Woods said. “I couldn’t think of anything better than music.”
According to Woods, everything began to fall into place, one step at a time when the band decided to help kids, sick kids and families with sick kids.
“One day after band practice, we had a conversation of what we could do with the money we would make and we decided as a band the best thing to do would be to help families of sick kids,” Woods said. “We have become a 501C3 organization. “We still have fun playing music, but more than that we are now focused on a mission which is to bring some hope, help and happiness to families with sick kids.”
In April, Woods said they met the the Strutton Family and their four-year-old son Eli, who had recently been diagnosed with Leukemia.
“Another one of those God things where He just showed up — and Eli came across our path and we went and visited his family and they’re really good people,” Woods said. “Just back around Easter, he was diagnosed with Leukemia — so he’s in a fight and we just want to help that family as they go through their struggles and bless them and help them.”
Woods sai, they felt like these were the people they wanted to try and bless first.
“We are thankful that Eli has thus far responded very well to his treatments,” Woods said. “We believe with God’s help he will recover.
According to the Von Hawks Rising band, the members want to “thank everyone who has taken a chance on us ‘hometown’ guys and has given us an opportunity to come play at their events.”
The band especially thanks those at the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and the City of Marlow for allowing them to play at their Fourth of July events, as well as Destiny with Main Street Duncan and the “good people” of Rush Springs that featured the band at the Watermelon Festival.
“We equally want to thank all the people who have come to the shows and for buying t-shirts and the merchandise and making all the donations,” Woods said. “Guys like, Chuck 55 ‘No Prep Kings’ with the Street Outlaws who donated a pedal car for us to raffle, Jimmy Hamilton with Miller Pro Audio who helped us get our sound system up and running and all the local businesses who have donated resources, time and money that has helped us get this thing started. You guys are the real ‘rockstars.’ This would not be possible without all these great people.”
The band includes Jason Hawkins, Jody Woods, Allen Gates, drummer Brent McReynolds, Donnie Berry and the youngest member, Tyler Eades, keyboard player.
For more information about hosting an event with live music, information about the band or to make a donation to help the band bless more families like The Struttons, visit www.vonhawksrising.com and follow the band on Instagram and Facebook.