Musician Steve Azar Helps Kids Through Delta Soul
By Alicia Stevens
Delta Soul was born out of a desire to share the Delta region’s rich music history while enjoying the superb southern hospitality and delicious food that makes the south unique.
Greenville native, celebrity golfer, recording artist, songwriter and music producer, Steve Azar — along with his wife, Gwen — created this fundraising event with the support of friends and the community. Proceeds benefit the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation (SASCF).
Initially starting with a couple of small fundraisers in Nashville while participating as a celebrity guest in various charity golf events over the past 20 years, the opportunity for Azar to establish his own golf event for the nonprofit foundation took a while to come. As a testament to the spirit of the Delta, this dream was finally realized once he and his wife returned to Greenville.
“After moving back to Greenville, the kids were older and everything fell into place,” Gwen Azar said.
Since its inception in 2006, the SASCF has worked to raise funds for support of the arts and various children’s charities in the Delta region. It has disbursed almost $800,000 thus far. One of the biggest fundraisers — the annual Delta Soul event — includes a three-day, three-night musical explosion and golf extravaganza. It begins with a baseball clinic happening on June 6. The night will end with an invitation-only celebrity dinner at Doe’s Eat Place and a jam session at the Walnut Street Blues Bar.
June 7 will be filled with golf and will close that evening with an auction and celebrity jam outside the Greenville Golf and Country Club. The auction and jam session is available for attendance by those aged 21 and older for a cost of $175 (of course, this will all benefit the arts and local Delta children).
On June 8, the golf tournament will be completed. Before bidding farewell in true southern fashion, no event hosted in the deep south can be finalized until friends have enjoyed a good fish fry; it will be held that evening at Greenville Inn and Suites, followed by a block party in downtown Greenville. The family-friendly “Somethin’ In The Water Block Party” can be attended by all who desire, with an admission fee of $10 per ticket. Music will be provided by the Delta Music Institute Band.
Admittance to most events is based on sponsorship level, with proceeds going to the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation to provide grants to organizations whose missions align with the SASCF based on financial need and other particulars about the program. The list of awardees seems endless, but includes the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Greenville Arts Council, The Salvation Army of Greenville and H.A.N.D.Y. (Helping Abused, Neglected and Disabled Youth), just to name a few.
Interested groups can obtain information to apply for consideration through the SASCF website. Support for the mission of the SASCF can also be done by individuals through the Amazon Smile program, igive.com, donating items for the golf goody bags or by volunteering.
Through the Education Foundation of Greenville, Inc., the foundation also provides scholarships to graduates from Washington County schools who are enrolled as freshmen or sophomores as music majors or who minor in music or art and have demonstrated talent or participation in the creative arts. For more information on this scholarship opportunity, students can reach out to their school counselors.
Steve Azar’s philanthropy extends to support of other charities. He utilizes his songwriting talents to auction the option of an unique song written to the charity of the highest bidder’s choice, resulting in several hundreds of thousands raised for the charity.
For more information about Delta Soul and The St. Cecilia Foundation, visit the website at Steveazarsaintceciliafoundation.org.
Alicia Stevens, a resident of Pearl River County, is a freelance writer, wife and mother of two who enjoys travelling with her family and friends.