A Show for the Season

Stars and Promises Brings Christmas Magic

By Remy Sisk

“Four years ago, I lost my husband to cancer,” recounts Charlene Kelly, “and I just didn’t even want Christmas to come—it was just the furthest thing from my mind. And my son who lives in Virginia called me and said, ‘Mom, pack a bag for one night—we’re going somewhere.’” Their destination, though unknown to Kelly, was Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where Peter Mayer was playing one of the shows on his annual Stars and Promises tour. Now, four years later, Kelly is bringing the show to Louisville, the show that, as she says, “brought Christmas back.”

Peter Mayer is a vocalist, guitarist and longtime member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band who spends each December visiting different small venues across the country playing holiday concerts that raise money for local charities. After seeing the show four years ago, Kelly followed Mayer and made sure to catch a Stars and Promises stop wherever she could. But this year, when she heard there was a chance Mayer would come to Louisville, she and her family decided to ensure the show made a stop in Derby City and consequently assumed all the coordination of the show themselves.

Kelly and the team have admittedly learned a lot along the way, but thanks to multiple local supporters, the process has them poised for success. St. Margaret Mary has donated their sanctuary as the venue, and Lamkin Wealth Management and Builders Exchange of Kentucky have signed on as major sponsors. The show will take place on December 14, and Kelly is eagerly anticipating bringing this extraordinary show to the community.

Peter Mayer | Photo by Lisa Harrison.

“It puts you in the Christmas spirit and now I want to share that with as many people as I can,” she exudes. “And in the long run, it will make a contribution to three important charities around town and do some good for them.” Indeed, proceeds from the show will benefit Gilda’s Club Louisville, which Kelly describes as her lifeline during her husband’s cancer journey; St. John Center for Homeless Men, where her son and husband used to frequently volunteer together; and Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky.

“All three of these organizations help people at the worst times of their lives,” Kelly emphasizes. “They’re three really great charities that are going to get all the proceeds from the ticket sales. So we just want to make sure people know about it!” The show itself, with the theme this year of “When You Come Home,” will showcase a collection of timeless carols, original songs and stories, all in celebration of the Christmas season and the way it brings people together.

“It will certainly enrich your Christmas season,” Kelly says of the show. “All the songs are not specifically religious—they’re just caring. It’s caring music.” Stars and Promises is sure to be an unforgettable holiday experience—one that not only emphasizes the meaning of the season but also supports local organizations that are working to make the community better all year round. VT

Stars and Promises

December 14, 7:30 p.m.

St. Margaret Mary