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Nothing silent about this benefit for kids
Members of Royal Family are, from left, Josh DeRosa, Ross Fuentes, Kelly Hill Hall and Lucas Fuentes. - photo by For The Times

Christmas for the Kids

A benefit sponsored by The Dam Bar and Silent Partners for Kids

Where: The Dam Bar, 3280 McEver Road, Buford

When: 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday

How much: $20 donation and a toy

More info: 678-546-7535


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Carl T. Buice School

Hillside Hospital

Royal Family

About two years ago Steve Damus met a little girl who had brain cancer and he decided he had to help her.

Then he thought, why not help even more children in need?

So, one small event to help a friend’s daughter has morphed into Christmas for the Kids, a charity event that features food and three bands performing live music at The Dam Bar in Buford.

"A friend of mine ... had a daughter, she was 9 and she’s now 11. Well about two years ago and she came into my life and she’s got brain cancer," said Damus, a Hall County resident. "It touched me and they were poor like the rest of a lot of folks and they are one week at a time getting by, so we got some people together and raised about $6,000 for their family.

"Some time passed by and I wanted to continue doing it."

The group that Damus started is now a nonprofit organization called Silent Partners for Kids.

Damus said he came up with the name of his group because "Biblically speaking you don’t stand on the side of the public corner and profess your good deeds, we wanted to do all of our giving in quiet; we don’t want any gratitude or praise," said Damus, president of the local nonprofit.

So this year, Damus put together a benefit for Hillside Hospital in Atlanta and the Carl T. Buice School in Sugar Hill to help even more children.

"Hillside Hospital, there’s 75 abused children there from 7 to 17 and the Carl T. Buice School, they’re in Sugar Hill and they have about 230 handicapped kids there from 3 to 5 years old," Damus said. "Last time we did just a Hillside get-together and we had about $10,000 plus gifts.

"I’m figuring $15,000 to $20,000 this time."

Damus said it wasn’t possible without a lot of help from people stepping up to the cause.

"A lot of people stepped up — police officers, firemen and business folks — and it’s growing," he said. "It wasn’t me being brilliant, it was the almighty opening the door."

Damus said on Sunday three local bands will be rockin’ the children’s benefit: Soul Street Band, Deep Cut and Royal Family.

Josh DeRosa, guitarist and lead vocalist for the rock group Royal Family, said folks can expect a "high-energy rock show" on Sunday.

"We do a lot of benefit shows," DeRosa said. "It’s exposure for us but at the same time, it’s nice to be involved in the community and we like to contribute whichever way we can."

Originally from Forsyth County, Royal Family includes DeRosa, vocalist and guitarist Kelly Hill Hall, vocalist Ross Fuentes, who also plays bass, and Lucas Fuentes is the band’s drummer.

The Atlanta-based rock band will be playing cuts from their "Kick In Kick Out" album, which was released this year.

DeRosa said two of his favorite tracks from "Kick In Kick Out" are "Dynamic Conformity" and "Moved and Raised."

Lynn Waters, owner of The Dam Bar, said the afternoon of music will be highlighted with free music from the eatery.

"What we are looking for and it’s not a requirement is a $20 donation and a toy," Waters said. "For that they get the free food and the music. We’re having hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs hot off the grill."

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