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Dec. 1 concert benefits UMC church program

Get ready for the holiday season this Saturday with Hastings entertainers and a special multi-media presentation. The holiday concert of Chris Falteisek and Friends will also offer an opportunity to support an ongoing church program, Imagine No Malaria.

Chris Falteisek and Friends will perform in concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Hastings United Methodist Church, 615 W. 15th St.

Falteisek is leading this holiday concert as a fundraiser for the Hastings United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria effort.  Imagine No Malaria is a program supported by the people of the Hastings United Methodist Church who have put their faith into action.  In their drive to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa, they will raise money for the next three years in support of this effort. A free will offering will be gathered.

Worldwide, the United Methodist Church hopes to raise $75 million to empower the people of Africa to overcome malaria. The program is focused on delivering four key aspects - prevention, treatment, education and communication. It is working closely with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria , the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Red Crescent Society.

The church has been working in Africa for more than 160 years and has developed the infrastructure of more than 300 clinics and hospitals there to treat patients.

The program also provides training for local community health workers to educate people on the symptoms and defenses against malaria as well as educating them about how to use their bed nets.

The program provides education on malaria and information through its radio network in Africa.

The operational costs for Imagine No Malaria are covered by a grant, awarded by the United Nations Foundation.

The concert will include holiday music and some of Falteisek's personal compositions.  Vocalists will include recording artists Kay Caturia, Heather Doffing, Maureen McNeary and Michelle Sieben. Gary McAlpin and Brian Schommer will join the concert to accompany the vocalists with bass and drums.

The concert is free and open to the public, and the performance will be approximately 90 minutes long.