2013-12-18 / News

Backpack Program receives bundle of donations

by Kate Evans


Morgan County Backpack Program volunteers (left to right) Gloria Winters, program coordinator Susan Caperton, Starting Points director Audrey Morris, Dawn Beal and Kim Easton collect non-perishable food items at the Ice House TreeFest prior to Landau Muphy’s December 11 concert. Morgan County Backpack Program volunteers (left to right) Gloria Winters, program coordinator Susan Caperton, Starting Points director Audrey Morris, Dawn Beal and Kim Easton collect non-perishable food items at the Ice House TreeFest prior to Landau Muphy’s December 11 concert. Many Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. concert ticketholders brought food donations for the Morgan County Backpack Program to a December 11 pre-concert “Meet and Greet” at the Ice House TreeFest.

They were excited to get a chance to meet the singer and “America’s Got Talent” grand prize winner and get autographs and photos taken with him.

Some were getting Murphy to autograph his new autobiography

“America’s Got Talent” Winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.: From Washing Cars to Hollywood Star written with co-author Rick Robinson. The book tells the true rags to riches tale of Murphy’s life.

Others had copies of the children’s book about coal mining—Shovel Full of Sunshine by Stacie Vaughn Hutton—for which Murphy penned the forward.

Fans gather

Kathy Michael said it was a great kids’ book about coal mining. She was getting Murphy to autograph it for her grandson.

Michael said that she and her husband Doug Michael watched Murphy since he was first on “America’s Got Talent.” She saw him at the Maryland Theater last year where he sang with his wife Jennifer. Michael said Murphy is genuine and sincere and that his wife is just as sweet and nice as he is.

“What you see is what they are,” Michael said.

She said that Murphy’s Christian philosophy and beliefs come out in his concerts.

“We admire him and what he stands for. He’s very humble and very gracious,” Michael said.

Berkeley Springs resident Sharon Marks was at the pre-show reception with her neighbor Mary Hansen. Marks said they both spent a lot of time watching the “America’s Got Talent” show and that she rooted for Murphy on it.

Hansen is a big Murphy fan and said this was her third concert that she’s attended.

When Murphy said in his “America’s Got Talent” audition that he was from Logan, Hansen said she sat up in her chair because she’s been to Logan. When he opened his mouth to sing, she was sold. Hansen voted for Murphy every time and loved him as a performer before he won.

She said he’s a good guy and that he’s stayed true to his roots.

“What a life he’s had,” she said of his hard times.

Backpacks food collection

The food collection for the Backpacks program was suggested by Star Theater owner Jeanne Mozier when Murphy wanted his performance to benefit a local charity or cause. It was arranged for the Ice House since the space was larger. The event also gave patrons the chance to see TreeFest, Mozier said.

Murphy was happy to be aiding the Backpack Program and local “Bagging Children’s Hunger” efforts in conjunction with his concert.

Morgan County Backpack Program coordinator Susan Caperton said her car was overflowing with groceries donated through the event. She expressed appreciation from the community to Murphy and his support of the program through his local appearance.

The Backpack program serves roughly 250 Morgan County children weekly by providing a pack of nutritious non-perishable food at school for students to take home for weekend meals.

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