Music event Saturday will benefit baby, family
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth High School graduate of 1997, Chad Van Herk, has organized a fundraising concert for this Saturday at the Young Amphitheater in Centennial Park.
Local singer/songwriter Van Herk, who is also the manager of Culver’s First Farmers Bank and Trust, hopes to bring together local citizens, co-workers, friends and family members for an afternoon of mellow acoustic rhythms.
The concert will benefit Van Herk's friends the Ingram family, whose youngest son, Trek Atlas has been diagnosed with Niemann Pick Type A. The rare, incurable genetic disease claims the life of those who are diagnosed by the age of three.
Before Trek's diagnosis, the Ingrams had begun selling their personal belongings in order to finance a journey across various international boarders and, as the family’s favorite Chad Van Herk song goes, “…leave footprints all over the world” in a year-long sabbatical with their three sons (hence little Trek’s fitting name).
They had gone so far as to purchase one-way tickets to Asia to begin their globe-trekking adventure just weeks before little Trek Atlas would be diagnosed with the disease.
As a result of the diagnosis, the Ingrams took multiple flights to visit specialists in Colorado, rapidly depleting their savings and dashing their dreams of world travel. Meanwhile, the Hard Rock Café in Maui began making plans to hold a private family benefit for the Ingrams. That’s where Van Herk comes in.
“I received an email from the Hard Rock Café in Maui with several attachments and image files and, without reading it, I immediately thought it was junk mail,” Van Herk said with a laugh. “But they followed up with another email to convince me to come out for the benefit. I was both moved and humbled by the invitation. This will be, essentially, a farewell party for Trek as his health continues to decline. We will be celebrating his short but hopefully not uneventful life.”
Van Herk and his wife Liz have been planning the Plymouth fundraising concert with hopes of raising a sizable amount to deliver to the Ingrams at the Hard Rock Café event in Maui.
“That’s what the concert is for," said Van Herk. "All profits will go to the Ingram family in hopes that Trek Atlas Ingram can live a comfortable life for the short time he is with us, and even get a few stamps in his passport before he disembarks on his trip to the Great Beyond."
Tickets to Saturday's concert can be purchased directly from Van Herk at the Culver bank, or at his website www.chadvanherk.com, where donations can also be made. You may also learn more about the Ingrams at www.babytrekatlas.com where donations can also be made.