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Big Al & the Hi Fi's play one more time for fundraiser

Dec. 26, 2012

Big Al & the Hi Fi's will take the stage one more time to benefit the new Veterans Memorial Park in Oconomowoc. The Honor & Valor event will take place at Olympia Resort & Conference Center on Feb. 2.

"Here is a group that has always given back to the community. When asked help out, they never let you down," said Mac Dorn, co-chairperson of the Park Building Committee.

The band is legendary in the area, and will be officially entering its 38th year of performing on the night of the event.

"All five members are Oconomowoc High School graduates and went on to play with some of the greatest music bands," said band member Tim Counsell. "Some of the bands included Chubby Checker, The Coasters, Sha-Na-Na, Roy Orbison, Gary Pucket & The Union Gap and Ricky Nelson."

Over the years, area residents have enjoyed them locally at many festivals and picnics including fire department, community, church and Lion's Club events around the Midwest.

Band members include: Tim Counsell (Big Al) as lead vocalist, Cheech Counsell on guitar, Bill (Billy Cruz) Reuter on lead guitar, Charlie (Knuckles) Darnell on bass and Les (Sticks) Phillips on drums.

"One phone call was all it took from these guys (Mac Dorn and Kurt Schrang, co-chairs of the Park Committee) to become involved in this event," said Counsell. He continued, "We are honored to be performing for such a worthy cause. Now let's get busy and sell it out!"

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Okauchee guitarist Michael Beglar will be the starting act. Big Al & the Hi Fi's will take the stage around 7:30 p.m. There will be auction items, bracelets and memorial bricks available for purchase at the event. Appetizers are included in the cost of the ticket.

Donations of auction items are being solicited especially in the areas of sporting events, entertainment opportunities and family fun events. Tickets are $50 and are available at or at First Bank Financial Centre locations. For additional information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Maribeth Bush at or Megan Welsh

"This will be a night to remember," Counsell said.

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