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'100 Wells Tour' in DL

Next Sunday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., the Historic Holmes Theatre will be staging a truly unique event.

Detroit Lakes is one of just 18 cities across the U.S. that will host a visit from the 100 Wells Tour, an evening of richly meaningful, yet entertaining music that comes with a message: bringing clean water to the world, one well at a time.

The tour, which features the music of David Scherer, better known as Agape; Rachel Kurtz; and Lost & Found, is being organized by Kristina Johnson, Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) coordinator for the Northwest Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

As it happens, Johnson is also a Detroit Lakes native, which is part of the reason why the community was chosen as a host site for the 100 Wells Tour.

"My mother (the late Janice Johnson) used to be part of Playhouse 412, and I grew up across the street from the theater (which was part of the old Holmes School, and not in use at that time)," said Kristina Johnson, whose office is based in Glyndon, where she also works as a family minister for Glyndon Lutheran Church.

"In the local newspaper, about 15 years ago, there was a story with a picture of my mom standing inside the old school theater, talking about how it would be great to get the theater up and running again," she added. "I feel like I'm coming full circle ...  I'm really excited about this tour coming to Detroit Lakes, and to Minnesota.

"These musicians are people who care deeply, their faith is shown by the way they treat people and care for people -- and it's music that touches all ages," she continued.

It's also music with an underlying message that is of critical importance.

According to information available at the ELCA website, every day, millions of women and children in developing countries walk several hours to collect water that is safe for their families to drink.

All too often the water that they find is contaminated. Unclean water causes millions of people, especially young children, to contract preventable deadly diseases every year.

One in seven people still do not have access to safe drinking water and more than half of the diseases in the world are caused by unclean water.

At the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans this past summer, 32,000 Lutheran young people organized the 100 Wells Challenge, and raised $250,000 to build 100 wells in various African countries in need of clean water.

"Each well costs about $2,500 to build," Johnson explained.

The goal of this tour, she added, is to raise another $250,000 for building 100 more wells -- in one year.

"Coming to this concert is a great way to raise money and awareness for something that we take for granted," Johnson said. "People around the world are dying every day because they don't have access to clean water -- but we can make a difference.

"This concert has great entertainment value, but it's more than just entertainment," she added. "Our world is becoming so concerned with what we can get -- but there's this longing to be able to help people too."

Tickets for the Oct. 28 show are $8 in advance or $10 at the door, and can be purchased by calling 218-844-SHOW (7469), online at or by visiting the Holmes Theatre Box Office at 806 Summit Ave, Detroit Lakes. The doors will open at 6:45 p.m.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454