Benefit Scheduled for Van Zandt County Tornado Relief


Canton native and musician Wesley Pruitt is working with a team of people to produce a benefit concert May 28 for the victims of the recent tornados that ripped through Van Zandt County.

To help raise funds for victims of the tornados that ripped through Van Zandt County April 29 a benefit concert is taking place from 12:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday, May 28, at The Pickin’ Porch Park in historic downtown Ben Wheeler.

Four people died and more than 50 were injured in what officials say were nine tornados that ravaged the area. Hundreds of homes, businesses, and properties were destroyed.

The Van Zandt County Twister Relief Concert features a long list of talented musicians who are stepping forward to donate their time to the cause. Confirmed performers include Jeff Allen, Wesley Pruitt Band, Will Burgin, Clay Thrash, Austin Layne, Heather Little, Meredith Crawford, Seek the Peace, Buddy and the Flashbacks, Diamondback TX, Chad Bennett, TuTu Jones and blacktopGYPSY.

Instigated by Canton’s own Wesley Pruitt, the benefit holds special meaning to him.

“Canton is my hometown. Personally, this has been so heartbreaking and emotional,” Pruitt said. “The whole town went dark that night. There was no light anywhere except for emergency responders. Wanting to help in the days to come I knew that musicians could be a much-needed light for so many.”

Besides a full day of concerts on two stages, a kids’ area includes bounce houses and performances by Johnny Magic.

Food trucks and other refreshments are available on site and Moore’s Store and The Forge Bar & Grill are open across the street from the park.

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $20 per person at the gate. All proceeds are going to the Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund managed by First State Bank of Ben Wheeler for the victims.

A silent auction is also taking place during the event.

A Facebook page, Van Zandt County Twister Relief Concert, shows regular updates for the event. For VIP tables, auction donations, sponsorship opportunities, and more information on the event, call Emily Dunn at 903.567.1111 or email

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