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Ice cream fundraiser in Ellis makes sweet sound





ELLIS -- Lawn chairs were optional at Tuesday night's concert by the Hays City Band.

The event was moved from the Washington Grade School lawn to the gym because of the strong winds.

A concert has taken place in Ellis for several years, and this isn't the first time the location has changed, said Cappy Gaschler.

Gaschler is president of the PEO Chapter FO, a local organization that's hosted a fundraiser at the concert for at least 10 years.

"We've had thunder and lightning," she said.

Usually the concerts are moved to the Ellis High School auditorium, but it isn't air conditioned. So the Tuesday night concert took place in the air-conditioned gym instead, Gaschler said.

The PEO Chapter used to serve homemade ice cream but last year switched to floats.

"It seemed to work out," Gaschler said.

Proceeds from the floats go to the Leona Shepherd Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a local student.

Philip Martin, Ellis city clerk, said he attends the concert every year.

While the weather affects attendance, "You get to hear live music," he said.

Several attending, such as Gary Albrecht of Hays, had family ties to the musicians.

His daughter, Robin Henman, is in the band, and he's attended about half a dozen concerts through the years.

Ellis resident Ramona North's daughter, Amber, also plays in the band.

"We go to all of them," North said.

Jeff Jordan, director of bands at Fort Hays State University, directed the musicians in a few of the musical numbers, and Lane Weaver, director of athletic bands at FHSU, directed the remainder.

The band consists of high school and college students, as well as community members.

"It's an opportunity for people to keep playing," Jordan said of the band of approximately 45 musicians.

"They do a good job," Albrecht said.