Rock musicians have a reputation for being a rowdy, narcissistic and altogether unholy bunch.
But each year in Cape Girardeau, local rockers shed those stereotypes and team up with acoustic folk singers, blues wailers and other area musicians and venue owners to get in the spirit of giving. It's called the Christmas Hoot, and this year it is taking place on Saturday and Sunday at a variety of downtown venues.
The event slogan says it all -- "In celebration of the charitable spirit of Christmas, area musicians present the Christmas Hoot 2005."
The events kick off Saturday with rock and folk acts around Cape Girardeau's downtown and end Sunday with a Christmas sing-along at Port Cape Girardeau and an all-ages show at The Camp. Money from all the shows goes to benefit the Cottonwood Treatment Center, a 32-bed facility for emotionally challenged children.
Bob Camp started the Hoot back in 1992, shortly after moving back to his home area from Memphis, Tenn. From lowly beginnings in a town that still had little to no club music scene, the Hoot has grown to an event that now raises about $1,000 to $1,500 per year, said Camp.
Over the years support has been tremendous for the event, Camp said.
"Although I've been the only participant that is involved every year, there have been some volunteers that have done most of the work producing the event in the past," he said. To Camp, all the help is just evidence of the generosity of the local music community.
Over the years, the Hoot has stayed true to its mission, Camp said.
"The current Christmas Hoot is the same as the original idea of the Christmas Hoot," he said. "It was the local musicians doing something for the community. We weren't attempting to do something that was going to generate income -- our only purpose was to raise money for Cottonwood."
At Cottonwood the gift is received with great thanks. The money raised is split equally between the children there, with all money going to them, not for administrative costs. For many of the children, who may have been forgotten by the outside world, the gifts mean a lot.
"These children simply don't have access to that kind of resources," said Cottonwood director Martha Cassel.
For more information on the Hoot, call Camp at 382-0709.
335-6611, extension 182