by: SUBMITTED - Rae Gordon performs at the 2008 Waterfront Blues Festival's NW Women in Rhythm & Blues show.A Celebration of Sight and Sound on Sunday, Jan. 20, brings blues, R&B and soul acts and partygoers together for a good time and a good cause.

Proceeds go to provide vision and hearing care for children whose families cannot otherwise provide them through the Oregon City Lions Club.

Now in its third year, the annual event got its start when local blues and gospel singer Rae Gordon was turning 40 and chose to forgo a birthday party and do a benefit that she hoped would have lasting results, long after any candle on a birthday cake went out.

After joking that she was turning “20/20,” she was drawn to make the 1190 KEX Kids Fund the beneficiary after learning more about the fund on the AM station.

The charity that provides eyeglasses and hearing aids to children of struggling families hit close to home. As a child, she remembered having hearing issues, trouble seeing the blackboard in school and a family at home struggling financially.

As an adult, enjoying a music career enhanced by both those senses, she now knows all too well the importance of getting children help early on so they can have success even earlier in life.

Word about the new event spread quickly in the blues community and friends and strangers came to help, sharing similar childhood experiences. A caring fellowship of musicians, music lovers, individuals and businesses stepped up to play, volunteer and donate items.

After the surprising success of the first 20/20 with $2,000 given to the Kids Fund, Gordon was approached by members of the Oregon City Lions Club, a local chapter of dedicated community volunteers and leaders, whose charity work crosses paths with the Kids Fund and who had attended the event. They wanted it to continue and a partnership was born, resulting in bringing the next year’s contribution to $4,000 and it becoming the annual party, next to New Year’s, that brings warmth to the otherwise chilly month of January and most important, help so desperately needed for children to thrive.

On Jan. 20, attendees will again be treated to the best in local bands, dinner and dancing with catered food, libations from local wineries, live and silent auctions.

Local blues legend and award-winning guitarist Sonny Hess, who has brought to the Northwest such popular acts as Paulette Davis & The Power Band and her NW Women in Rhythm & Blues, is joined by Vicki Stevens, who was named best new act by the Cascade Blues Association in 2010 and represented Eugene’s Rainy Day Blues Society at the renowned International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tenn. The Rae Gordon Band is fronted by association’s Best Female Vocalist for 2011, bringing a mix of blues with gospel flair.

The night isn’t complete without more dancing with the 10-piece horn band Return Flight, an act that has been delighting audiences from the small to large venues, including Pioneer Square and big festival stages with their tight arrangements and infectious energy.

20/20 will be held Jan. 20 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Pioneer Event Center, 615 Fifth St., Oregon City. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 for couples and $250 for a full table of 10.

Tickets are limited and available online at, from Oregon City Lions Club members or Rae Gordon by calling 503-452-0440; by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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