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Hope Fest 2013 in need of a few good sponsors

Though the event is still almost two months away, plans are already in full swing for the second annual Hope Fest music festival, set to take place June 6-8 in Detroit Lakes.

Hosted by the Refuge Christian Outreach Center, the three-day festival is intended as “a free concert for the community,” said Refuge executive director Randy Kohler.

But in order to do that, organizers are looking for sponsors to help fund the cost of the event, which includes bringing in headliners like Petra, Dallas Holm and Aubree Bullock — who are all well-known in the Christian music world.

“We have some really big names this year,” Kohler said.

Besides the three headliners, other performers will include the Sky Blues Band, uprising, Red Letter Band, Beyond Blue, Shepherd’s Gate, My King’s Ransom, Firestarters and Pure.

In addition, the festival will host an arts and crafts fair featuring over 25 booths and live demonstrations; the second annual “pitch fork steak fondue” (which was a popular attraction last year); bonfire gathering, concessions and “lots of fun and fellowship for all,” Kohler added.

But in order to do that, The Refuge relies on support from businesses, organizations and individuals in the community.

“We can’t do this without them,” said Refuge founder Mel Manning.

Besides funding the event itself, sponsorships will also help support Refuge programs and facilities, including the Compassion House men’s homeless shelter, set to open May 17; the Helping Hands thrift store; the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop; Our Daily Bread, which feeds the hungry with daily meals served every Thursday through Saturday; Celebrate Recovery, a Christian-based 12-step program for recovery from drug addiction and other ills; and various other ministry programs.

Each $400 sponsorship will include a free 10x10 booth space; four meal tickets for the Thursday barbecue and two tickets for the pitch fork steak fondue on Friday; mentions from the stage to precede each music performance; and of course, lots of advertising, including mentions in hundreds of posters and brochures promoting the event at over 100 locations, a half page newspaper ad and more.

“Sponsors will not only be providing an atmosphere for people to come and enjoy a free community concert, but they will also be supporting the Refuge and Compassion House,” Kohler noted.

Once again, Hope Fest will be held on The Refuge’s Tower Road site north of Detroit Lakes, which was donated to the non-profit organization last year and is eventually intended to be the site of a shelter for women and children.

But more than that, Manning added, Hope Fest is an attempt “to bring our churches and community together to fight some of the bad things that are happening here.

“This community needs its churches to be strong right now.”

Manning referenced the fact that two violent deaths have occurred in the community since the start of the year, as well as things like increased domestic violence and child protection cases.

“We need to partner with this community’s churches, individuals and businesses and be one,” Manning noted, adding that unity of purpose “is what’s needed for the church to be effective in this community.”

“Our passion is for this concert to bring the community together,” Kohler added.

For more information about Hope Fest sponsorships, or any of the Refuge’s programs and facilities, please call 218-847-1982 or visit the website,

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