Continuing its mission to raise money for Ashley’s House, a transition home for female veterans, Villagers for Veterans will hold a musical titled, “For the Love of Country,” starring Grammy-balloted independent country recording artist Luanne Hunt.
The concert will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at North Lake Presbyterian Church, 975 Rolling Acres Road in Lady Lake. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for veterans with an ID.
Hunt, a Pennsylvania native who recently moved from Las Vegas to Central Florida, will perform a selection of her critically-acclaimed, award-winning songs, which have reached No. 1 on charts around the world.
Marie Bogdonoff founded the Villagers for Veterans nonprofit for the purpose of helping severely wounded veterans transition into civilian life. She asked Hunt to write a song in tribute to women veterans and Hunt came up with, “Brave American Girl.” She will unveil the song and video at the concert. Bogdonoff’s son, Michael Bogdonoff, produced the video
Bogdonoff says her organization is vital, as veterans often struggle to secure financial help through established sources and governmental agencies.
“Events such as this not only serve to help our veterans but also serve to educate the civilian population on the many challenges faced by our veterans,” she said.
Beyond writing and producing countless live productions over her nearly three-decade career, Hunt has released 21 studio albums. She has scored 19 No. 1 hits and is the recipient of Six American Songwriting Awards, three CD of the Year awards from the National Traditional Country Music Association and three World Songwriting Awards. She also is a two-time Jose Music Awards nominee and was inducted into the Independent Superstars Hall of Fame in 2016.
In addition to Hunt’s performance, “For the Love of Country” will feature several patriotic numbers performed by The Villages popular swing band, The Ambassadors, led by Bobby Jones. Ocala singer/songwriter Scott Jackson, the 2020 winner of the Will McLean songwriting competition, will also perform.
“Scott is going to be singing Alan Jackson’s ‘Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning’ in our tribute to 9-11,” said Hunt. “His voice is smooth as silk and he has a way of pulling at your heartstrings. I can’t think of a better artist to perform this powerful and moving song.”
Hunt said another highlight of the production will be award-winning Elvis Presley tribute artist Ted Torres singing “American Trilogy” backed by The Ambassadors band. In 2021, Torres starred in the Tony Award-winning musical, “Million Dollar Quartet.” In 2016, he was crowned champion of the long-running “Images of the King” competition held annually in Memphis, Tenn.
“Ted has been supporting our veterans for years,” said Bogdonoff. “To find someone so talented, who has such a unique way of giving back, is nothing less than amazing.”