Oktoberfest brings southern rock legends to Portland to raise money for troops, veterans

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PORTLAND — Bringing the sounds of southern rock to Maine, the Marshall Tucker Band headlines this weekend’s Falmouth Rotary Oktoberfest Troops Fundraiser.

The location has been changed from the open-air venue at Hadlock Field to Merrill Auditorium because of the threat of inclement weather, Falmouth Rotary President David Jones said. But the goal remains the same – to show support for Maine’s 167,000 troops and veterans while having a great time.

Proceeds from the event will go to four different organizations, all of which help troops, veterans or their families: Adopt a U.S. Soldier helps those on active duty by connecting them with volunteers who maintain regular communication, Homes for Our Troops builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans, Operation Homefront provides financial and practical assistance for troops and their families and the Warrior Legacy Foundation honors veterans with programs that remember their accomplishments and sacrifices.

When asked how the Falmouth Rotary selected the recipients, Jones said they “wanted to go full circle” with their help by providing for military and families in all situations.

Though the atmosphere in Merrill may be a bit different from what was originally planned, acoustically the concert will be much better, Jones said. As of Monday afternoon, he said he was “in the middle of working out the details with the city,” but said he expected to have some food and beer vendors inside “and we’ll have some out on the steps.” Rotary groups and others that support the charities will also have tables set up, he said.

The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in 1973, recording seven straight gold or platinum albums over the next five years. Hit singles include “Heard It in a Love Song,” “Fire on the Mountain,” “Can’t You See” and “Take the Highway.” Only one original member, lead vocalist Doug Gray, remains in the band.

With a blend of acoustic guitar, bass, drums and vocals, Boston-based Typhoon Ferri will open for the Marshall Tucker Band. And Shannon Selig and Tenley Westbrook will also perform some opening songs, Jones said.

With seating for 1,900, Jones said the organization has the potential to raise more than $50,000.

The event’s lead sponsor is TD Bank. Other sponsors include the Regency Hotel, Prime Motor Group, Maine Oil Dealers Association, Pfizer, WLOB and WPME.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to get together and show we support our veterans – we love what you do, we care about you and we’re here to support you,” Jones said.

The Falmouth Rotary Oktoberfest will be held from 2-6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11. Tickets cost $25.00 and are available at www.porttix.com or by calling 842-0800. Those who wish to donate to the event or companies that would like to purchase large blocks of tickets can call Jones at 650-3455.

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.

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pnms-MarshallTuckerBand-100709.JPGThe Marshall Tucker Band will be performing at Merrill Auditorium Sunday for the Falmouth Rotary Oktoberfest Troops Fundraiser.