The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 20, 2012

Dream show: Fundraising concert to establish memorial scholarship

MIAMI, Okla. — Seneca Black Elk Mathews wanted to get his degree from Oklahoma State University.

He never got the chance. The 27-year-old was killed on Feb. 10 after an auto accident, where his vehicle was struck by a drunken driver.

Originally, funds donated in Seneca’s name went toward tornado recovery relief efforts, said J R Mathews, a former chair of the Quapaw Tribe. But people close to the family recommended a change.

“The recovery will be done one day, and we wanted Seneca’s memory to live on,” Mathews said. “He always wanted to go to Oklahoma State, so we decided to honor Seneca by helping others with the same dream.”

A fundraising concert will be held Tuesday to set up a scholarship fund in Seneca’s name. Money raised will establish a scholarship endowment at Oklahoma State University, the school where J R Mathews said his son wanted to attend.

Seneca had worked at Downstream Casino as a shift manager for table games, and at Quapaw Casino. Both of those casinos made donations for the concert, Mathews said Ñ officials with Downstream covered travel expenses for the three artists, and Quapaw officials covered the rental fee for the theater.

The concert will feature the following artists:

  • Bobby Bridger, a singer-songwriter who has performed a one-man show around the world. He has appeared on “Austin City Limits,” “Good Morning America,” NPR, and has recorded numerous albums. Known for performing in buckskin, Bridger sings songs about Western and Native American culture. He is also a poet, actor, playwright, author and painter.

    Mathews said Bridger knew Seneca all his life, and that the concert was his idea.
  • Williams and Ree, a comedy duo who have performed together since the late ’60s. Known as “The Indian and the White Guy,” the two have performed with Garth Brooks, the Oak Ridge Boys and Tim McGraw.
  • Guitarist John Inmon, who has performed with Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Lost Gonzo Band, Michael Martin Murphy and Joe Ely.

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