PITTSBURG — Fans of both country music and animals have an event to look forward to this weekend, as Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel is hosting a concert featuring Jake Dodds to benefit the Southeast Kansas Humane Society.
“Indiana native Jake Dodds grew up listening to country music,” Kansas Crossing’s website notes. “Watching the Grand Ole Opry and Statler Brothers show Saturday nights on TNN with his grandparents. Growing up in the 90s it was Garth Brooks TV specials and listening to Tracy Lawrence, Tim McGraw and Tracy Byrd on the radio.
“As high school approached it was Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney that helped a shy kid through the days of girls, sports (freshman football) and mowing yards.”
Though he had long dreamed of being a country singer, “it wasn’t till after a growing karaoke obsession in southern Indiana that Jake started a band at 24 in the summer of 2012,” according to Kansas Crossing’s website.
Dodds’s music career has been on an upward trajectory since then. In 2018, he played 170 shows.
“Fast-forward into the present,” a Humane Society press release notes, “Jake has now opened shows for 25 national touring artists.”
Tickets for the Saturday, July 27 benefit concert, known as Raise the Ruff, cost $20 and can be purchased at kansascrossingcasino.com. The 21-and-older show starts at 8 p.m., and 100 percent of proceeds from the event will go towards helping animals in need at the SEK Humane Society.
Kansas Crossing’s “Boots and Beers” event will be going at the same time as Raise the Ruff. KKOW 96.9 is a major sponsor of both Boots and Beers and Raise the Ruff.
Jasmine Kyle, business and promotions manager for the SEK Humane Society, said in a recent interview that although her organization has previously partnered with Kansas Crossing to host a similar event, this will be the first officially designated as “Raise the Ruff.” Ideally, Kyle said, the Humane Society would like to host similar events once or twice a year, but their ability to do so depends on public and community support.
“As long as we have a good showing from the public then we can keep doing this wonderful event,” she said.
Concert attendees will have a chance to meet Duke, a dog that formerly resided at the SEK Humane Society shelter before being adopted by Kansas Crossing General Manager Doug Fisher. Aside from Duke, 3 to 5 other SEK Humane Society dogs will also be on hand for Raise the Ruff, Kyle said, and the audience will have the chance to see them and hear their stories prior to the start of the concert.
Kyle said the SEK Humane Society is currently housing its full capacity of nearly 140 animals, and it’s been a bad year in terms of illegal dumping of animals and owners surrendering litters of kittens and puppies.
Raise the Ruff is “a great way to not only come out and have fun but also to support our no-kill animal shelter,” Kyle said, adding that concert attendees will have the opportunity to “listen to good music, have a good time, dance, and then support animals too. You can’t get any better than that.”