Tickets go on sale for United Rocks! benefit concert and holiday food drive

For Immediate Release: Aug. 21, 2014

UNITED WAY CONTACT: Al Hammons, United Way, Phone: 785-273-4804 | Cell: 785-230-2202 E-mail:
Mike McLaughlin, Communications Director, Phone: 785.228.5117 | Cell: 816.591.1592

Rock Stars from well-known bands to play TPAC to raise hunger awareness

TOPEKA, KAN. – Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Aug. 22 for United Rocks! – A Classic Rock Christmas – performed by December People, at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 at Topeka Performing Arts Center. December People is a band of musicians who play with such well-known acts as BOSTON, Sammy Hagar, the Greg Kihn Band, the Tubes and Y&T. The concert is being staged to generate hunger awareness, collect food for Project Topeka and support United Way of Greater Topeka. Tickets are available at TPAC and through Ticketmaster.

December People takes classic Christmas songs and plays them in the styles of such artists as The Who, The Police, ZZ Top, BOSTON, Led Zepplin and more. Band members have sold more than 40 million albums and CDs with their regular bands. December People includes Gary Pihl of BOSTON, Robert Berry who has played with Sammy Hagar and the Greg Kihn Band, Dave Meed of The Tubes, Mike Vanderhule of Y & T and Jack Foster, an international artist popular in Europe.

The Topeka High School Drum Line will play during the song “Little Drummer Boy.” The Topeka West Singers, Washburn Rural T-G and other high school groups will be part of the concert as will a seven-octave bell choir from Countryside United Methodist Church. The show features opening act Vandelyn Kross, a band featuring Todd Pettygrove who is the new lead singer of the band Shooting Star.

The concert came about after Dan Woodard, president of Project Topeka, shared with Al Hammons, United Way information technology director, that donations to Project Topeka were down last year, at times approaching 50 percent lower. Project Topeka serves a number of local food banks and pantries. Hammons knew Gary Pihl from some previous work and recalled Pihl’s passion for charity and especially hunger awareness. He contacted Pihl who quickly agreed to bring December People to TPAC.

The band’s music may be heard at


United Way brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive sustainable change in our community. By focusing on education, income and health, we help more children graduate and get stable jobs, help families become financially stable and improve the overall health of our community. United Way remains dedicated to Basic Needs including food, shelter, rent and utilities, health and prescription access and safety from domestic violence.

For more than 80 years United Way of Greater Topeka has been improving and changing lives. Since 1980, United Way has invested more than $105 million into the community.