By Sarah Plummer
A benefit concert today expects to drum up support for former area TV news anchorman Martin Staunton and the Minority Health Advocacy Group, a community group advocating for health equity for minorities in West Virginia.
Staunton said the concert, “Teresa’s Legacy Concert,” is named for his wife who died after a sudden heart attack in September.
The concert will begin at 1 p.m. and continue with live local country and Christian rock music until 9:30 p.m. today at Tamarack.
Admittance is $10 per person and 12 and under get in free. The proceeds will be shared between the Staunton family and the Minority Health Advocacy Group.
Few people across southern West Virginia don’t know the terrible year Martin Staunton and his family have had.
In October of last year he had a near fatal complication from diabetes and fans across the area offered support and encouragement through his Facebook page and Facebook groups.
Staunton explained that it took four months for him to return to work only to find out his contract would not be renewed.
“I was dealing with my grief by doing a journal on my Facebook wall and lots of people have been following me and offering advice on dealing with grief,” he explained.
His 2,300 Facebook fans swelled to 5,000 as he connected to the community through his losses and found emotional support for himself and his two teenage daughters.
Staunton said he has been working through his grief, in part, by teaming up with the Minority Health Advocacy Group to address some of the health disparities in West Virginia that center around race lines.
The CDC noted in West Virginia, African-Americans are six times more likely to suffer life-threatening complications with diabetes than non-minority populations, he explained.
One of the group’s first projects is to address the “food desert of Mount Hope.”
“If someone in Mount Hope wants to get some groceries or make a trip to buy some stuff for a salad, they have to drive to Oak Hill or Beckley to make that happen. We are working to bring a grocery store there as one of our first projects,” he explained.
But working to help others wasn’t going to pay his late wife’s medical bills totaling $84,000.
That’s why when local 17-year-old and budding country musician Corey Chambers approached Staunton about putting together a benefit concert to help him and his family, Staunton immediately saw it as a way help pick his family up as well as assist the Minority Health Advocacy Group.
The group hopes to be able to raise at least the $1,000 needed to file for their 501c3 status.
Staunton hopes Teresa’s Legacy Concert will become an annual event with future proceeds going solely to the Minority Health Advocacy Group.
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