By Shereen Siewert

Wausau’s Concerts on the Square series is finished for the year, but a benefit planned for Wednesday will extend the concert season by one week while helping local food pantries stock their shelves.

Malcolm Whittum, who is spearheading the ‘All Stars Under the Stars’ event, said the idea began several years ago with a birthday party concert at The 400 Block. The annual event, which is also a food drive to support Peyton’s Promise, has grown significantly since its launch and Whittum said he plans to keep the music playing as long as sponsors continue supporting the annual event.

“I used to be hungry,” Whittum said. “I know what it’s like. I slept in my car for three days.”

Now, Whittum said he takes great pride in seeing the volunteers with Peyton’s Promise grow and continue to serve the community. Peyton’s Promise serves as the “middleman” between food drives and organizations fighting hunger.

As in the past, event-goers this year are urged to bring non-perishable food items or monetary donations. Whittum said the outpouring of support each year is incredible – but his ultimate dream is to one day fill a semi with food donations to be distributed by food pantries serving Marathon County.

The benefit is set for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at The 400 Block. Hyde, a central Wisconsin-based rock band, will perform.

In the event of rain, the concert will be held at Bull Falls Brewery, 901 E. Thomas St., Wausau.