‘Idol’s’ Murray sings at home for Red Cross benefit

August 1, 2009 10:36:00 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


The Golden Triangle was justly proud when its own Jasmine Murray made it into the Top 13 on American Idol''s Season Eight only a few short months ago. On Saturday, Aug. 22, the former Columbus Girlchoir member returns to her roots to join a host of performers lending their talents in support of the American Red Cross Tenn-Tom Chapter. 


Summer Blast, a benefit concert at Rent Auditorium on the campus of Mississippi University for Women, will also feature Eric Price -- aka "Preacherman" -- of Jackson, Tenn., the Northeast Mississippi Sate Baptist Congress Youth Choir and Fairview Baptist Church Youth Choir. 


"The Miller''s Chapel Mime Team from Noxubee County and the Southside Youth from Columbus are also performing," said chapter board member Towanda Williams. She is co-organizing much of the event with fellow board member Whirlie Byrd. "Also on our list will be Ms. Jamie Howard, from Starkville, along with Ms. Carla Cunningham, of Columbus." 


Event proceeds will boost a financially-stressed disaster relief fund.  


Tenn-Tom Chapter Executive Director Becky Thomas said, "This is the first year since 2001 that we didn''t make our budget. People are out there hurting, and it''s really showing up with the non-profits. This is actually the first fundraiser we''ve done in August; we just had to do it." 


The relief fund directly helps families hit by natural and man-made disasters in a five-county area: Lowndes, Clay, Monroe, Chickasaw and Noxubee.  


Williams, who is also assistant director of Career Services at MUW, has high hopes the youthfully energetic Summer Blast will appeal to a broad crowd. 


"Jasmine sparked a flame of hope in all of us, and in the young people that knew her, and those that were just proud to know she was from our area," she remarked. 


Summer Blast tickets are $10, available now at the Red Cross office, 220 Fifth St. N., in Columbus, or at WCBI. For more information, contact the Red Cross office at 662-328-5710.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.