Brick Street hosted country singer Craig Morgan for a concert Sunday evening to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).
Morgan, best known for his hits “International Harvester” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday” attracted Miami students, Oxford residents and fans from afar to gather Uptown and give back to a good cause.
All proceeds from the concert went to SOWF, which provides college scholarships to surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces.
Mark Weisman, owner of Brick Street, was inspired by a colleague of his to choose SOWF.
“John Saputo, who owns Ohio Eagle Distribution, where we purchase our Budweiser products, is a retired colonel in the Marines,” Weisman said. “After learning about John’s experiences in the Marines…we decided that we wanted to contribute to a military cause.”
Weisman believed the concert would raise awareness of the sacrifices made by the military and hoped it would give Miami students a greater appreciation of the opportunities they have.
Reece Phillips, another country singer, sang the national anthem and went on to open for Morgan.
His performance was followed by brief speeches from retired Navy Seal commander Dan O’Shea and Ohio congressman Warren Davidson.
Afterward, Aaron Conner, a past recipient of SOWF aid, spoke about his personal experience with the foundation and the impact it left on families of fallen soldiers.
“My entire life did a 180 after the loss of my father, and I needed the community that SOWF provided me during that time,” Conner said. “They are so selfless in seeing us succeed despite the loss that we’ve had.”
When Conner was only 14, his father, a sergeant major, was killed in action in Iraq.
SOWF assisted Conner throughout the college application process and helped to finance his education. Conner went on to receive degrees in elementary and special education from Samford University in Alabama.
“Kids in my situation have to deal with a lot of trauma at a young age,” Conner said. “The SOWF takes the huge burden of finance off of families, which allows the student to go ahead and do what perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to do after the loss of their father.”
Pre-event sales numbered 600 on Sunday, and many more purchased walk-up tickets.
Kathy Long, a resident of Liberty, IN, said she frequently makes the quick trip to Ohio to come to concerts in Oxford.
“My cousin is in the military, so when we heard that Craig Morgan was performing and 100 percent of proceeds were going to this charity, I just had to come,” Long said.
Sophomore Luke Schroeder and his friends came out to see the concert mainly because they knew all funds were going to charity.
“We knew our money would be going to a good cause,” Schroeder said. “It was nice to be able to give back.”