Celebrate this Memorial Day with local restaurant

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Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Barbecue restaurants in Tennessee, including the Smyrna location, invite local residents to join “Operation Famous Salute” over the Memorial Day weekend.

Beginning Friday, Tennessee Famous Dave’s restaurants will invite their dining guests to write a letter of thanks to a wounded warrior or service member currently overseas. According to a press release, restaurant owners will pick up the cost of postage for sending the letters on to our military hospitals and to those actively serving overseas. The owners also invite other residents and community groups to write positive letters for troops, and bring them by the restaurants over the weekend so they can be sent with those authored on site.

“The best way to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country is to care for those who presently serve!” says Famous Dave’s Tennessee franchise owner Doug Renegar.

This is the sixth year the Tennessee-based franchise has offered this opportunity.  As a result, nearly 7,500 letters have been collected in the past four years for soldiers and other military members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This year, letters will also be sent to warriors in US military hospitals who are recovering from wounds received in battle.

Diners will be provided a list of suggested talking points with which to communicate, and follow-up communication with the soldiers is encouraged as well.

“When our local units are called up, like those from Fort Campbell, for example, we see the tearful pictures of the family goodbyes on news coverage.  In reality, statistics show that many more soldiers have no family to send them off, or to keep their spirits lifted by a letter from home.  We want to bless those soldiers in particular,” says Renegar.  

Sending letters to service members recovering from accidents is a new addition to Operation Famous Salute.  

“We have friends who lost a son after he was shot in battle in Afghanistan this year.  He was flown to Walter Reid for treatment,” Renegar said. “During his brief stay there, our friends realized that Operation Famous Salute could be a real blessing to recovering warriors and their families.”

New quartet bringing classics to new generation

‘Under the Streetlamp,’ the new quartet consisting of the dreamy voices of four young lead singers is about to bring the early rock 'n' roll, doo wop and Motown classics to an entirely new generation along with reminding the original fans why great music is timeless.

This magical show comes to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14.

Tickets are on sale now and available at tpac.org, by calling 615-782-4040, or visiting the TPAC Box Office at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville.

Formed in Chicago in 2010, ‘Under the Streetlamp’ quickly earned a devoted local following and came to the attention of Charlie Blum who runs the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Ind., a press release announced.

 “I’ve put on and seen thousands of shows but was instantly struck by the boys clearly authentic love for this music, their amazing showmanship and rapport with one another, their numerous standing ovations and their total commitment to delivering these classics songs in a phenomenal fun filled way,” Blum said. “They are having a big party and the audience is invited to join in.  I noticed that their audience included all ages and everyone left the theatre smiling.”

 As a result of the huge following ‘Under the Streetlamp’ has developed in the Chicago area, their Blum has confirmed the first leg of their national tour will start in May and include performances in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nashville and NY.

 All four members of ‘Under the Streetlamp’ – Shonn Wiley, Michael Cunio, Michael Ingersoll and Christopher Kale Jones – appeared at one time or another in the Chicago or national company of Jersey Boys.

 “When we all started doing cabaret together in the Chicago area, we realized that the audience was responding not just to these great songs but the synergy between the four of us,” explained Michael Ingersoll.

 For more information, visit underthestreetlamp.com.

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Arts, Business, Entertainment, Melinda Hudgins, Memorial Day, Military, Minute with Melinda
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