St. Mary of the Lake Hosts "Rockin' for Repairs" Concert

Proceeds from the event benefit the upkeep of the historic White Bear Lake church.

Keeping up an old stone church is an expensive proposition. Luckily, the parishioners and community of St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in White Bear Lake have hit on a renewable source of income—their annual “Rockin’ for Repairs” concert, which takes place Saturday, August 17 at the St. Mary of the Lake ball field. Tom Frazer, the chairman of the church’s maintenance committee, credits proceeds from the event with helping update the church over the years.  “It may go toward new doors, windows, roofing—it’s whatever the needs are,” he says. “The building’s been around for a long time. I went to grade school there years ago; my kids went there.” Tickets are $10 for ages 15 and up, and concessions will be sold at the ball field. Music starts at 6 p.m. with performances by locals John Evans and Dan Perry. The event is headlined by Free and Easy. Frazer described the beginnings of the event four years ago as a democratic process. “The maintenance committee saw that the church was going through kind of a difficult budget time, so we decided to think a little bit out of the box and be a little bit more enterprising—to go beyond what was our original mission,” he says. “We threw a dance and had a concert, people had a good time and we had a good turnout.” “Everybody seemed to enjoy it, so we decided to do it again the following year. Each year we add a few things; It’s evolved a bit, but it’s the same purpose, same theme, same mission,” he says. Since the first concert, the event has helped maintain the church’s heating and air conditioning, purchase new metal doors for the front of the church and pay for part of a new slate roof. “I can’t say that whatever monies are raised could pay entirely for the roof, but it puts a dent in things,” Frazer says. “And it makes things a bit more fun for the parishioners and the community. It’s a nice little get-together, too.”