By Mark Ambrogi
Singer-songwriter Blair Clark knew he had to find a way to pay tribute to his late sister.
So the Carmel resident started Friends Helping Friends in 2004 in honor of LaNiece, who lost her long battle with cancer at age 50 on Feb. 19, 2004. Clark’s sister was only 18 months older and they shared a close bond. They spent much of their time singing in the choir and serving their community together.
The Friends Helping Friends’ spring fundraiser will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., March 6, at The Warehouse, 254 1st Avenue Southwest in Carmel. The donations for tickets are bronze ($20), silver ($50) and gold ($100).
“This is the group’s first fundraiser and our goal is to raise awareness as well as raising money so we can help organizations and individuals in need,” said Clark, who hopes to make the fundraiser an annual event. “We will have specific fundraisers for other causes. But it’s hard to raise money for that when you need help yourself. We’re at the point now where we are gathering funds or the resources we need to help other people.”
The Music Helping Friends singers, who often perform at assisted living facilities around the Indianapolis area, will be performing at the fundraiser. Clark will also be performing and Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will be a special guest on the French horn. There will be a silent and live auction at the fundraiser. Clark said former Indianapolis Colts player Barry Krauss is assisting with the auction and fundraiser.
“We’d love to be able to hire a group to perform but to keep costs down I’m going to perform myself,” said Clark, laughing.
Clark and his wife Heather Ramsey Clark also own The Warehouse. Clark, who is also the president and founder of the Midwest School of Voice, said the Friends Helping Friends organization is filling needs that Medicare, Medicaid and even Red Cross in some situations aren’t able to do. For examples of what the organization does, visit friendshelpingfriendsinc.org.
“We’re excited for people to go to our website and see who we’ve helped and the extent we’ve been able to help people,” Clark said. “We’re trying to be a help to individuals and organizations in need whenever those needs arise and do it on a regular basis.”