By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT – A CD release concert to benefit the St. Ambrose University Student Emergency Fund will bring several Assumption High School graduates together for an evening of singing and entertainment.
Assumption grad Denny “Red” Gallagher and his wife Lorraine of The Redbird Duo will have their CD release of “Treasures from the Closet” on Oct. 25, during the benefit. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Rogalski Center on the St. Ambrose campus.
The evening also features special musical guests and former schoolmates of Gallagher: Father Brian Miclot, Sheila Deluhery and Pat Frese.
Gallagher grew up in Davenport and attended Holy Family Parish, Holy Family Catholic School when it was located on 16th Street, and Assumption High School. He graduated from Assumption in 1968.
When he arrived at Assumption, Gallagher met Miclot, who was also a freshman; Deluhery, who was a sophomore; and Frese, who was a junior. “We performed together and I did solo acts. We played wherever or whenever we could,” Gallagher said.
“Denny and I played all over Davenport,” Deluhery said. “We played for Father Marvin Mottet, at the coffee shop and the Masonic Temple. Anywhere there was a Catholic connection — we played,” she laughed.
After high school, Gallagher attended St. Thomas College in St. Paul, Minn., for two years. “After that I bummed around and went to the University of Iowa.” He returned to the Quad-City area to play at various places.
In 1975 he started his official full-time music career. During the winters for 15 years he played at a resort in New Hampshire. “There I met a gal and we were married seven years ago,” he said during a phone interview last week from his home in New Hampshire.
He said he and his wife Lorraine have two different styles of music. “She’s more Carol King.” His style is more blues. “We’re opposites, but complement each other.” The couple sings as The Redbird Duo.
The couple performs benefits on a regular basis. “We were looking for a way to promote our new CD,” he said.
Deluhery said she and Gallagher, who have remained in contact over the years, had talked about him coming to the Quad-Cities. “Then this summer it worked out that he had a CD to release and we were looking for a way to raise funds for the student emergency fund.”
“I was thrilled at the idea,” Gallagher said.
Deluhery said of Fr. Miclot, Frese and herself performing: “we’re gonna try to sing. We’ve gotten together and laughed a few times. We’ll do a few songs.”
Father Chuck Adam, chaplain and director of campus ministry at St. Ambrose, said the Student Emergency Fund was begun about three years ago as an initiative of the Student Alumni Association for students to support their peers in a time of need.
A student seeking emergency financial help is directed to one of three people: Anne Gannaway, the director of alumni engagement and special events; Tim Phillips, associate vice-president and dean of students; or Fr. Adam. They deal with the requests in a confidential manner.
In the past, money has been used for such things as helping a student buy books and clothing when the family home was lost to fire; providing travel money for a student whose parent was undergoing a serious surgical procedure; and helping students pay for books when both parents were suddenly unemployed.
Several fundraising events take place throughout the year, Fr. Adam said. During the week of caring in the spring, students with cafeteria meal plans voluntarily give up one of their meals and the Sodexo food service offers its cost of the meal to the fund. “We’ve had donors make personal offerings to the fund. But all the money comes from fundraising and donations,” Fr. Adam said.
What: Red Gallagher and The Redbird Duo CD release to benefit the St. Ambrose University Student Emergency Fund
When: Friday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.
Where: Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University in Davenport
Cost: $10 per person or $20 per family (suggested donation). A donation of $5 from each CD sale will go to the fund.
A social hour will follow the concert with snacks and soft drinks.