Related

FARMINGTON — With the aid of some cloud cover and a welcome breeze blowing through the football field at Heights Middle School, the benefit concert for Justin Solomon and the Brotherhood of Love was just what John Ortiz wanted.

The proceeds were donated to Justin Solomon, who is diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the Brotherhood of Love, a group of individuals dedicated to helping those less fortunate.

Ortiz was thankful for the community turnout for a project he feels is paying forward his good fortune. He is making a comeback from Stage 4 lung cancer. But organizing and running the event left him tired on Wednesday.

"I'm keeping real busy and (I'm) wore out," Ortiz said, taking a break inside a recreation vehicle located behind the concert stage. "I'll keep going until this thing is over and then I'll pass out and sleep for a whole day or two."

Vendors sold a wide variety of food including shaved ice, lemonade, turkey legs and more to feed the crowd while other vendors sold sunglasses, purses and more.

Katy Yokum brought a number of her "cactus" water misters to sell and donated a number of misters to help the crowd keep cool.

Powered by a water hose, the misters spray water through nozzles attached to PVC pipe. Yokum donated all the proceeds from her sales to the event.

"I hope (the concert) raises community awareness for people in need," Yokum said. "No matter how big your community is, you have to come together and help each other out."

Yokum's boyfriend Kevin Mauzy, a Bloomfield firefighter, started making the misters to help keep his fellow firefighters cool and both started making them as a side business.

Justin Solomon and Mary Miranda pose during a benefit concert on Wednesday for Justin Solomon and the Brotherhood of Love at Heights Middles School in
Justin Solomon and Mary Miranda pose during a benefit concert on Wednesday for Justin Solomon and the Brotherhood of Love at Heights Middles School in Farmington. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

Ortiz and Mauzy worked together to gather 19 American flags to display as a tribute to the 19 Prescott, Ariz., firefighters who were killed Sunday working the Yarnell Hill fire.

Crystal Chavez enjoyed the sounds of the band Reverend Catfish from her lawn chair while her husband Eddie was volunteering with his Masonic Lodge brothers.

The Simon Balkey Band, Royal Flush and Mary Miranda also took the stage during the countdown to the evening's fireworks display.

Eddie said Ortiz is a member of the San Juan Masonic Lodge No. 25 and a number of Masons were helping with the concert stage, taking donations and more.

"I think it's nice to come out and enjoy the food and music," Eddie Chavez said. "It's a safe place for families to come out and sit on the grass and enjoy the fireworks."

Ortiz was optimistic about making the benefit concert an annual event.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.