Benefit to help Whitey and Flo,

REDFORD - When Whitey and Flo Keese lost their summer camp home on Cold Brook Road to an electrical fire Christmas Day, friends of the longtime local musicians wanted to do something to help.

Earl Southmayd of Black Brook and Florence Collins of Cadyville decided to organize a benefit in the Keeses' honor, to help recoup the family's losses.

"I came up with the idea because Whitey Keese has done more benefits for everybody in this North Country than anybody," said Southmayd. "If somebody ever had a problem, he was always there to do a benefit for them. I thought it was time somebody did something for him."

"They're always willing and able to help anyone else," said Collins.

While the camp has traditionally been the home of an annual music-filled campout hosted by the Keeses every August, it was most recently the home of the Keeses' daughter, Wanda McIntyre, and their two granddaughters, Breanna and Nicole. Southmayd said that made the fire especially heartbreaking.

"It's just a shame," said Southmayd.

The benefit, planned for next Sunday, Feb. 14, aims to raise money for the Keese and McIntyre families.

The event, to be held at the Assumption of Mary School on Clinton Street from 1-5 p.m., will consist of a spaghetti dinner. The cost will be $10 per dinner, with take-outs available.

Entertainment will be a big part of the event, said Collins, with music to be provided by the Saranac Fiddlers, Happy Time Ramblers and the Donnie Perkins Family Band.

"We just want people to come up and listen to the music, eat and enjoy themselves," said Collins.

Raffles and 50/50 drawings will also be held hourly, she said, and door prizes will be awarded.

For more information about the benefit or how to help the Keese and McIntyre families, contact Southmayd at 643-8418 or Collins at 293-7031.

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