Tab Benoit Golf Classic, Winter Park concert enhance Gulf Coast preservation efforts |

Tab Benoit Golf Classic, Winter Park concert enhance Gulf Coast preservation efforts

Tab Benoit is power in tunes, and when hearing them, you can almost taste the Creole shrimp and Cajun Jambalaya.At the 9th Annual Tab Benoit Golf Classic and Concert Friday, Aug. 21, golfers and music admirers alike will play in the name of saving Louisiana’s southwestern coastline.Hosted by the Grand County Blues Society for the fifth year, the Golf Classic at the Headwaters Golf Course followed by an evening concert supports the “Voice of the Wetlands” organization, founded by Benoit and colleague Reuben Williams.The Voice of the Wetlands is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, dedicated to bringing national and international attention to coastal erosion in Louisiana, as well as the global impact wetlands loss could have on culture, economics and the environment.”From oil to shrimp and from crawfish boils to Mardi Gras, the culture along the bayous is not to be taken for granted,” said Grand County Blues Society founder John Catt, pointing out that even before Hurricane Katrina caused devastation to the region, Benoit championed saving the Gulf Coast’s disappearing wetlands.”This Friday, Tab will be back, playing his favorite game and talking about his cause,” Catt said. “Friday night we will get a taste of what that Cajun culture does to guitar and a man who loves his homeland.”And Grand County will have a chance to show its appreciation for Benoit and his cause. In particular, David Pope, managing member of the Winter Park CPA firm of DAPCPA Pope & Associates LLC, plans to present Benoit with a rare and special Epiphone Les Paul “Music Rising” edition guitar at the golf event. The guitar, signed by many of Louisiana’s top cultural music icons, represents a truly one-of-a-kind donation. After hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast, the guitar was designed for Epiphone by the Edge, lead guitar player for U2.The proceeds from the limited production and sale of the guitar funded the replacement of many of the musical instruments lost by the schools in that region during the hurricane. In 2008, the guitar was autographed at a Denver event and acquired by the Pope family for the express purpose of presenting it to Benoit and the Voice of the Wetlands this Friday.It is anticipated the guitar will be auctioned at the Voice of the Wetland’s annual festival, Oct. 9-11 in Houma, La.”This guitar is a true work of art, and because of the music and cultural history represented in the signatures it bears, it will be a prize for any collector,” Pope said. “It is our hope that in making this donation, we can make certain that the guitar’s history lives on in the wetlands that it will save.”