Nonprofit that helps Central Texas families who’ve lost children bringing ‘world’s biggest boombox’ for latest fundraiser

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 6:57 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local nonprofit that helps families who have lost someone too soon, namely children, will be hosting its biggest fundraiser of the year with a unique twist that organizers say has never been done before.

Archway of Hope’s “Retro Radio 2023″ is boasting to bring the “world’s biggest boombox” as organizers have built a giant set for popular local DJ, and musician, Brian Brown to DJ as he hosts the event.

The music selection will be from the 70s, 80s and 90s, and guests are encouraged to dress up.

Brown has been entertaining local audiences for years as both a DJ, and lead singer of the well-known band Sloppy Joe.

He said between the elevated dancing stages, over the top props, MTV Music videos playing, and overall presentation, there really has never been anything like it before.

“It’s just a little bit different. The props, the decade span. Music is memories,” Brown said. “You hear a song from your era, your childhood, and you’re like, ‘I remember where I was the first time I heard that,’ or it’s attached to a memory, and that’s what we’re trying to create - is those musical memories and upbeat, uplifting music, and fun and good times while supporting a fantastic cause.”

Paul Allison is the president of Archway of Hope, which started following the death of McGregor teen Rhett Hering, who died in a UTV accident near his driveway in 2015.

Rhett was the son of Paul’s childhood best friend, McGregor Mayor Jimmy Hering.

Allison wanted this event to be one people would talk about for years to come.

“I think it’s going to be something unique to Waco. People love shows. Although people like bands and music, and everything, people like shows. People like to be entertained, and if you come to our event, you will be entertained for five hours on Saturday, August 26, at The Base.”

Allison said the money raised will help fund the nonprofit’s mission year-round.

Archway of Hope focuses on creating documentaries that tell the stories of loss, and then offer hope to people walking the same unthinkable road.

Documentaries already produced include the story of Rhett Hering, as well as Cordelia Sloan, a McGregor teen who died in a car accident.

Recently, the group released the story of Jackson Roberts, a West Texas boy who died after being accidentally shot by his brother.

Allison said the videos uploaded to their website and YouTube channel are getting views and comments from people all over the world, saying it’s helping them recover.

“I want them to see if they can make it, so can I,” Allison said.

“The money we will raise will help fund another four to eight documentaries over the next two years.”

Archway is also launching a podcast which focuses on dealing with grief and loss hosted by local licensed professional counselor Dr. Kristy Donaldson.

Retro Radio will be August 26 at the Base at the Extraco Events Center.

You can go to watch the docuseries or support the fundraiser.

Sponsorships are still available.

Editor’s Note: Julie Hays is the Vice President of Archway of Hope