Pictured are Lang Scott, Linda Davis, Keenie Word More, Susie McEntire and Mark Eaton during the eighth annual “A Country Christmas” concert at Lakeview Middle School Saturday. Not pictured is musician Jeff Taylor on the piano. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
Pictured are Lang Scott, Linda Davis, Keenie Word More, Susie McEntire and Mark Eaton during the eighth annual “A Country Christmas” concert at Lakeview Middle School Saturday. Not pictured is musician Jeff Taylor on the piano. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
Gospel and country music artists Susie McEntire and Linda Davis performed together again during the eighth annual “A Country Christmas” concert at Lakeview Middle School Saturday with special guest Keenie Word Moore.

This is Moore’s first year participating in the concert.

“I’ve wanted to come for  a long time. So I’ve known Susie my entire life. I’ve seen her come every year. They reached out to me and asked if I wanted to come this year and I was super excited,” Moore said during a meet-and-greet before the concert.

Davis returned for a second year performing at the concert at LMS.

She said she was asked to come again. “If I hadn’t been, I would have stowed away in Susie’s suitcase and come anyway,” Davis said. She said she and husband Lang Scott are back and thrilled to bring some Christmas cheer.

McEntire said people could expect a mixture of new things as well as some things from years past.

“It’s a mixture, of course, since Keenie’s here. There’s going to be some new songs. There’s going to be a little bit of a collaboration between all of us. So we’re just here to help people to relax, to enjoy the evening, to get out of the hustle and bustle of the day and remind them what the Christmas season is all about,” McEntire said.

The concert benefited Toys for Tots. While the event was free, attendees were asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U.S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas, according to the Toys for Tots website.

Davis said she hopes the children that receive the gifts will realize they are loved and not forgotten. She also hopes the people that are raising those children realize there are people in the community to help to make Christmas better for those children.

McEntire said she keeps coming back because she is asked by organizer Mike Loher, who is a personality “that is so much for the Warsaw community” and because it’s Toys for Tots.

“You know, we come because we love Jesus and we love for people to know that this is the season to celebrate his birth. And along with that comes Toys for         Tots,” McEntire said. As people entered LMS, people were able to donate a toy to Toys for Tots, which helps other people remember Jesus.

Nine boxes of toys were donated to Toys for Tots this year.

Chris Cage, Toys for Tots coordinator, said with the toys collected last year, about 2,000 children received toys from Toys for Tots and almost 8,000 toys were distributed.

American Legion Post 49 presented Toys for Tots with a $1,000 check and the VFW Post 1126 presented Toys for Tots with a $500 check at the beginning of Saturday’s concert.

McEntire performed songs like “Walking In A Winter Wonderland,” while she and husband Mark Eaton sang “Oh, Mary Did You Know?” among others. Moore and Susie dueted on “Silent Night.” Davis sang “I Believe in Music, I Believe in Love” and “A Tender Tennessee Christmas” in her set list. Davis and Scott performed Lady A’s “I Run To You,” as their daughter is a member of that group.

During the concert, the topic of those hit by tornadoes in four states across the Midwest, including Kentucky, Friday night was brought up.

Pastor Rob Seewald, Leesburg United Methodist Church, asked for God’s anointing onto the stage. But he also wanted to stop and pray for “all our brothers and sisters that have been affected by the tornadoes across the Midwest and the South. Having lived through the tornado in Nappanee, I know what a life-changing event that is.”

He asked God to help people recognize there are people “who desperately need help today.” He asked God to lift up all those affected by the tornadoes.

Davis said she drove up from Kentucky.

“I know you’ve seen the news and you have probably prayed just like we have for all those in the storm’s path,” Davis said.

She said she was in a show Friday night and everyone’s phones kept going off with storm warnings and the performers were on and off the stage performing when everyone wasn’t taking cover.

Davis said they wanted to keep the people who are without loved ones or homes in their prayers.

At the beginning of the concert, a special presentation was done for the 13 military personnel that were killed in action in Afghanistan in August. Warsaw Police Department Public Information Officer Det. Brad Kellar sang “God Bless The U.S.A.” during the presentation.

Sponsors this year include Leesburg United Methodist Church, Stookey Construction, Everest Excavating, Bailey Moore Foundation, Windstar Park, Franger Gas, Lewis Salvage, Wishbone Medical, Grossnickle Eye Center, American Concrete Pumping, Deb Patton-Showley Group, Core Mechanical, Blue River Digital, Bishop Farms, Eagle Outdoor Advertising, Wilie 103.5, Times-Union, Allegra, ServPro of Noble and Kosciusko Counties, Snyder Trucking, WIOE, Oldies 101.1, 104.3 and Stereo 1450, Michael Kinder & Sons, Stafford Solid Waste, Robinson Construction, Avalign Cutting Instruments and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Warsaw.