Eric Nadel, the Hall of Fame voice of the Texas Rangers, loves baseball, of course, but he also has a passion for music and for giving a voice to those without one.
He gets to combine the last two on Thursday with Eric Nadel’s Benefit Blowout, an event that includes live music and an auction — with online bidding, too — to help Focus on Teens. Now in its second year, the benefit came about after an introduction by Nadel’s longtime friend Norm Hitzges to Focus on Teens executive director and co-founder Keith Price.
The group helps hundreds of homeless students in the Fort Worth school district during a very vulnerable time in their life — youngsters who make it to classes daily despite the uncertainty of where they will sleep at night.
This year, Luke Wade and Grady Spencer will headline the event, being held at Hyena’s Comedy Club in Sundance Square in Fort Worth.
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Although mostly known today for his tenure on NBC’s “The Voice,” Wade has toured and performed with the likes of Train, Patti LaBelle, Jerry Jeff Walker, Daughtry, Toad the Wet Sprocket and others.
Grady Spencer is best known for his hit song “Things To Do,” which has become somewhat of an anthem for the city of Fort Worth.
“I love this event! It’s a chance to see two of my favorite local bands in an intimate setting — and at the same time, we can help Focus on Teens expand its program into Fort Worth,” Nadel says.
“We started from scratch a year ago and now have a presence on 10 campuses, ranging from elementary to high school. FWISD wants the program in as many schools as possible, but it takes funding to do that. This event can raise those dollars — and awareness — so I encourage everyone to buy your tickets, bid on the auction items (online or the night of) and join us. It’s going to be a great time!”
Auction items include a visit to the Rangers broadcast booth with Nadel, the opportunity to join Hitzges on a broadcast with “The Ticket,” dinner at Heim BBQ or Reata with Nadel and/or Emily Jones, and lots and lots of sports memorabilia.
Founded by Price, formerly with North Texas’ largest homeless shelter, Austin Street, Focus on Teens provides a drop-in center and food pantries to meet the most pressing needs of students in crisis, as well as providing services to address substance abuse and suicide prevention.
After only a few years working with the DISD in Dallas, Focus on Teens already has a presence in nearly 30 schools, with a goal of being in every school by year’s end.
And Price is committed to making a difference in Fort Worth, too.
“When we opened two drop-in shelters in Fort Worth last year, we had 50-plus kids in the first two hours,” Price said. “We’re opening up three elementary school pantries and one middle school and they’re going to get uniforms, bus passes, hygiene (items), gift cards and clothing.
“I don’t want kids sleeping in a car! Ever!” Price continued. “It’s a great thing to feed them, but it is not enough.”
Tickets for Eric Nadel’s Benefit Blowout are $28 at prekindle.com.