Smile Politely

A gift for Kora

Thursday, March 8, Mike ‘N Molly’s will be the scene of regalo por korazon, a gift for Kora. Several C-U bands and musicians will come together to perform during the benefit concert, with proceeds going to the Korazon Ferguson fund, a fund set-up for three-year-old Kora Ferguson, whose mom, Annie Ferguson, passed away suddenly in February at the age of 29.

The line-up scheduled for the benefit starts off with Kayla Brown and Mike Ingram, followed by Ryan Groff, then Amiel Rysdahl with Kevin Cory. Next will be Evil Tents and closing the show will be Take Care. The benefit will start between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. and music will continue through midnight. There will be a $5 cover for the show, which will be 19+. The musicians’ and bands’ sets will be short, but meaningful.

16 days

Kim Ferguson (Annie’s sister) and Anna Marks work together at Kopi Café, so when Annie passed away so suddenly, Ferguson’s co-worker wanted to do something to help: “I think the overall intention of this benefit is to give a feeling of support to the family.” The idea of how to provide that support came to Marks while seeing all the musicians that come into Kopi. “I’m not sure whose idea it was,” Marks explained. “But I would see all these musicians coming in to Kopi and the idea took root. We started asking for help and we got a lot of support very quickly.” Marks, and Isaac Arms, a fellow friend of Kim’s, worked together to spread the word and get as much support as they could; which they did in a very short time. “We had a lineup nailed down in 16 days,” Marks stated. “I’m amazed at the willingness of all the participants to come together so quickly, and to give so freely of their time, talent, and resources.” Even if they didn’t all know Kim that well, the group that is coming together is showing its generosity in a big way. As Marks said, once the word started to spread, the line-up came together with a swiftness:

Evil Tents were the last band to officially jump on board. Ryan Groff was on board immediately, and Mark Wyman talked to the other guys in Take Care right away, and they were pretty much on board from the get-go as well. Kayla Brown and Mike Ingram worked us into their busy schedules. And Amiel works with us at Kopi, so she was eager to help.

With the musicans assembled and the venue secured, the show was starting to take shape. Marks wanted to give the benefit as much of Annie’s style as she could, so she and Arms designed the flier with a Day of the Dead theme. This is a small tribute to a vibrant young woman that touched many lives. Annie, who lived in Savoy with her daughter, was a librarian for the Eastlawn Primary Grade School in Rantoul.

We’re all family

“Local artists are coming together for a profound cause, to support friends in need, and to celebrate life,” explained Arms in an email to Smile Politely. And not only are they coming together this night, but members of Annie’s family will also be in attendance. Her father Kent Ferguson and mother Patty Stamos, with their respective significant others, along with Annie’s sister Kim and her boyfriend, and other family members will all be at Mike ‘N Molly’s on Thursday night for the show. “I surprised her with a flier last Thursday,” Marks said of Kim. “She was touched.”

More information on this performance can be found at regalo por korazόn.

If you are unable to attend the benefit, but would still like to make a donation, contributions can be made to the Korazon Ferguson Fund in care of First Federal Savings & Loan, 1311 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61821.

*Editor’s note: Annie was 29, not 27 has previously report. We regret (and have fixed) the error.*

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