Summer Breeze to take the stage for Gabriel's House benefit

Sep. 3—The sound of praise and worship will fill the stage in support of a local nonprofit this month.

Gabriel's House Foundation (GHF) will launch its next fundraiser with a praise and worship concert at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at New Hope Baptist Church.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the event will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m and will feature Summer Breeze.

Gabriel's House is a non-denominational Christian based after school program offering "parents and guardians of at risk Pre-K through fifth graders a safe, loving and nurturing after school environment for their children."

Founded in 1998, Gabriel's House marks its 26th year of operation which now services Duncan and Empire. In Duncan, Gabriel's House serves kindergarten through fifth grade and in Empire, they serve pre-K through fifth grade.

GHF Board Member and Fundraising Chair Gina Flesher said they are excited to bring this upcoming concert to town to help build a new forever home for Gabriel's House.

According to Flesher, the concert will provide a variety of "good old fashioned gospel music" with a mix of modern praise songs.

"It will all be Christian-focused in content," she said. "Summer Breeze is well-known in our community for their everlasting impression on the music industry of Stephens County and beyond. They had a sell out crowd at the Simmons Center this past spring with people begging for tickets at the last minute."

Keith Woods, Summer Breeze band leader, said they look forward to get to perform this genre of music for this benefit.

Woods said it has been great working with those involved in the program, such as Flesher and Bonnie Talley.

He said over the last few years, they've tried to work out a date where the band could perform and they eventually settled on a date this September.

"It's such a good opportunity for these kids who don't have the same opportunities as everybody else," he said.

Woods said when Gabriel's House gets their new building they are raising funds for, it will bring so much more for this community, as well as the surrounding areas. The band's main goal is to help the foundation reach their goal anyway they can.

"We're just a small part of that by bringing people in for this concert," he said. "It's a blessing for us."

Formed in 1976, Woods said Summer Breeze has three original members with the band and currently, the band consists of: Keith Woods, guitars and vocals; Bill Leyrer, drums and vocals; Brian Holland, keyboard and vocals; David Adair, guitars; Shane McClennen, guitars and Gaylon Blankenship, bass; as well as a founding member of the band, Lynn Wilson, who works as the sound technician.

According to a biography, Summer Breeze has won Oklahoma Country Band of the Year, Texoma Band of the Year and was a True Value Country Showdown finalist.

Woods said they typically perform Top 40 hits, such as with a previous concert where they performed an Eagles Tribute Show (Encore) at the Simmons Center in Duncan.

"Now we get to come and play some good praise and worship and gospel music," he said.

Woods said this will showcase another side of Summer Breeze.

According to Flesher, since the foundation began in at the end of 2018, there has been a lot happening to move toward this goal.

"We have land purchased near the water towers on the northside of Elk Avenue as it intersects Country Club Road with a sign stating 'Future Home of Gabriel's House'," she said. "It is the highest land point in Duncan and centrally located for all of the elementary schools."

She said the land sits on Chickasaw land.

"We have worked tirelessly to the best of our ability even through COVID-19 to secure donors and grants," she said. "Every dollar raised the night of this concert will be used for this capital campaign."

According to Flesher, the main goal and mission of the GHF is to provide a lasting home for Gabriel's House, Inc., so they can support their mission and sustain their purpose.

She said their current location at the former Duncan Middle School is being reclaimed by the school.

"As their programming and needs expand, they need to utilize this space for their needs and we must be proactive," she said.

According to Flesher, their new Forever Home will offer more than just an after school activity.

"There is so much more needed in our community for the health and welfare of these children and their families," she said. "Our first priority will be to use it in the capacity it is intended for — after school encouragement for children of promise."

Flesher said they are making great progress and they are looking forward to announcing more information about this multi-billion dollar facility during the fundraising benefit.

Community members can help show their support for this nonprofit by purchasing tickets for the event.

New Hope Baptist Church West is the venue sponsor for the benefit.

"We are so thankful for their relationship with us," Flesher said.

During the event, Founding Director for Gabriel's House Bonnie Talley will have her book "Safe In His Wings" available for sale for $40.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the capital campaign, according to Flesher.

"It is her story of God's calling on her life to begin this ministry," she said.

With limited seats, tickets will cost $20 for all ages and will be sold at the door, as well as in advance at

New Hope Baptist Church West is located at 380 S. 42nd Street in Duncan.

For more information about Summer Breeze, visit