By Lance Ferguson
Published: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 9:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 9:14 p.m.
Can you feel the good vibrations? The Beach Boys are getting around.
Love said he enjoys playing at benefit concerts. “It’s more a community spirit kind of thing,” he said. “There’s a lot more community involvement in that sort of concert. For me, it’s more rewarding to be able to do that. Every concert, we give it our best, but when you’re doing something in conjuncture with a bunch of people who are doing things that benefit the community, that’s a bonus.”
The playground at Lake Parker Park is in need of new equipment and Pam Page, Lakeland Parks and Recreation deputy director, said some of the money to renovate the playground will come from the city, but the more Lakeland’s Rotary clubs raise, the nicer it will be.
Proceeds from the fifth annual Lakeland Rotary Club Child of the Sun Music Festival and 5K on April 11 also benefited Hernando’s Landing, but The Beach Boys concert is expect to be the project’s largest fundraiser.
Club member Alyssia Totten and Ron Myers, Flying Tigers director of Florida operations, both wanted The Beach Boys to play at Joker Marchant for years and the stadium’s capacity allows for a large crowd.
Love said the band’s sustained popularity is partially thanks to John Stamos.
“He had us on his program ‘Full House’ several times and those ‘Full House’ reruns have introduced us to successive generations,” he said. “New fans are made every time they play the episodes of ‘Full House’ that we’re on.”
And many of those fans will want to hear the classic songs that made the band famous. Johnston said the show will not disappoint.
“Some people go out when they have a new album out and they’ll go play the new album live and think everyone’s going to know the songs,” Johnston said. “No possible chance … The weather will be great, Joker Marchant Stadium will be awesome and it will be really fun. We’ll load it up with tons of hits.”
Totten said the concert will not raise all of the money needed to build the playground, but it will help raise awareness for the project.
The city plans to spend $200,000 on updating the playground but asked Lakeland’s clubs — Lakeland Christina Rotary Club, Lakeland North Rotary Club, The Lakeland Rotary Club and Lakeland South Rotary Club e_SEmD to raise an additional $350,000.
Early plans for the playground, drawn by Littlejohn Engineering Associates in Orlando, show a wooden ship, treehouse and zip line.
“The point of the show is to raise a good bit of it and raise awareness in the community,” Totten said. “I feel really great that we’ve done both of those things.”
Totten’s husband, Scott, has been a member of The Beach Boys for 14 years and currently is the lead guitarist and musical director. He said he is looking forward to the concert and raising money for a place kids can enjoy.
“It’s such a community-driven, friendly kind of town so when my wife came up with the plan for this show and got people involved and got word out, everybody wants to see the show and be involved and help with the park,” he said. “It’s just that kind of town which is why we love it.”
Johnston said he does not like to call it charity, but playing concerts that benefit a cause makes him proud.
“I like to give and be able to do music and have the music give back on more than one level,” Johnston said. “You go home and you think, ‘I actually sang the songs they love and people had a great time and some of the profits will go to creating this playground for little kids.’ I think that’s really great.”