The towering ponderosa pines of the Mogollon Rim will be the backdrop for an afternoon of music and merriment in the meadow of Whispering Hope Ranch, a nonprofit foundation that brings people and animals together for healing.
The afternoon will begin with a concert by Affinity at 1 p.m., followed by the world famous Ink Spots at 3 p.m. and Randy Sparks' New and Improved Minstrels (formerly the New Christy Minstrels) at 5 p.m.
The festivities also include a gourmet picnic, an auction of collector and specialty wines, and a private showing by local artists. Guests are invited to stroll around the 40-acre ranch, and visit with the more than 100 animal residents.
Proceeds from the event will help Whispering Hope Ranch continue to serve children and adults who are physically, emotionally, or mentally challenged, and provide food, shelter, and veterinary care for the special animals.
Tickets for the Sept. 9 event are available beginning July 28 at all ticketmaster Ticket Centers including Tower Records, Warehouse Music and Robinson's May department stores, and online at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (480) 784-4444 in Phoenix, or (520) 321-1000 in Tucson.
Limited tickets are available and are priced at $100 for adults, $65 of which is tax-deductible, and $35 for people under 21 years of age, $10 of which is tax-deductible. All proceeds are to benefit Whispering Hope Ranch.
Located 25 miles east of Payson, Whispering Hope Ranch was established to provide a tranquil and compassionate healing environment for individuals who are physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually challenged, and to provide a home for a diverse group of animals that have overcome trauma, abuse, loss of a caregiver, or were born physically different. These gentle animals are an integral part of the healing energy at the ranch. Their interaction with ranch guests is nurturing and calming, enhancing well being and life purpose.
Guests of Whispering Hope Ranch include individuals facing a variety of challenges such as cancer and other serious illnesses; the loss of a loved one; at-risk children; nursing home residents; and children with autism and their families.
To get to the ranch, travel east on Highway 260 to Colcord Road, 3.3 miles past Christopher Creek. Turn right on Colcord Road and drive 2.3 miles right through the gate of Whispering Hope Ranch. The gate opens at noon.
For more information on Whispering Hope Ranch, visit its Web site at www.whisperinghoperanch.org or call (480) 990-9795, or toll free (877) 478-3339.