Graham to sing farewell to the island

Beverly Graham will give a free farewell concert at WICA at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28. - Photo courtesy of Beverly Graham
Beverly Graham will give a free farewell concert at WICA at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Beverly Graham

Northwest recording artist and Whidbey resident Beverly Graham is saying goodbye to the island.

Graham is moving to Abiquiu, N.M. at the end of this month.

An anonymous benefactor has sponsored an impromptu farewell for the beloved singer to give a concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley.

Graham said she just wants to simply sing her goodbyes to the community.

“There is no charge for this event. Just me singing to you,” Graham said.

“I am calling it ‘Softly, as I leave you.’ I am hoping you will join me,” she added.

In the course of her musical career, Graham has recorded six full-length albums. Her music has been described as haunting, thought provoking, and, at times, just plain fun.

In 1989, Graham founded OPERATION: Sack Lunch, the largest outside congregate-meal and basic-necessities provider for the homeless in the state of Washington.

As the organization’s executive director, performer and inspirational speaker, she has raised awareness, thousands of volunteers and a large amount of crucial funds to help those in need.

OPERATION: Sack Lunch has served more than 1.3 million meals since its inception and currently serves 18,000 meals each month to the homeless and working poor living in the Seattle area. Graham is the 1997 Washington State recipient of the prestigious National American Institute of Public Service Jefferson Award for her humanitarian work.

In 1998, she was inducted as a “Giraffe” at the Giraffe Heroes Project, and was honored as the Woman of Distinction for 2001 and received the 2002 Mayors End Hunger Award.

She has received several other community-based awards and nominations for service, inspiration and as a peacemaker.

She combines her music with a compelling message of equality, compassion and responsibility. Her fans have said that Graham’s voice lingers long after one of her performances is over.

In a recent article, Dan Fuller wrote of the singer and activist: “Standing less than five feet tall, she is a giant to thousands of people who have been touched by her talent and compassion.”

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