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Gibson Brothers performance to benefit Family Promise

CHAZY - The sounds of bluegrass and country music will fill the auditorium of Chazy Central Rural School in an effort to help the underprivileged of Clinton County.

The Gibson Brothers, a well-known musical duo of Ellenburg natives Eric and Leigh Gibson, will host a concert at the school Saturday, Jan. 24, to raise money for Family Promise of Clinton County. The organization is a network of local churches that volunteers use of their space to provide shelter and meals for families who find themselves without a home.

Maureen Bradish, the organization's director, said the event is one she hopes will help keep Family Promise's services afloat.

"Right now, our budget is looking pretty grim," said Bradish. "We're worried because of the state of the economy."

Family Promise is part of a national program, explained Bradish, which works with homeless families referred to the program by the local Department of Social Services. Funding from the program comes mainly through the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties and through member items secure through the state legislature. However, given the recession the nation faces, Bradish is afraid less people will be inclined to make donations and state funding could disappear.

"We're thinking that money's not going to be there," said Bradish.

The only other major fundraiser Family Promise holds is a golf tournament in the summer, said Bradish. The ability to rely heavily on that event isn't as plausible these days, she said.

As much as funding for the program in the near future is a concern for her, Bradish said she's also concerned for the people Family Promise helps. The troubled economy may force even more people onto the streets, especially during a time when they would face dangerous, frigid temperatures.

"Affordable housing is really not out there," she said. "Rents keep going up, but minimum wage doesn't and a lot of my families work earning minimum wage. That's why we're here."

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