SIERRA VISTA — If there’s one thing a performer in Sierra Vista can count on, it’s that the area’s arts community has their back. So it follows that a group of businesses, musicians and artists are rallying around one of their own, Ben Caron, him while he recovers from a serious car accident.
Caron was involved in an accident Feb. 11 on Highway 92 that forced him to be airlifted to a Tucson hospital.
He had several broken bones and internal organ damage, according to a Facebook post by his brother, Jeremey Caron.
Caron is a prominent performer in Bisbee and Sierra Vista, known best for his role in The Frytown Toughs, a two-man musical duo made up of Caron and his brother.
As a professional musician and performer, Caron is out of work until he’s well enough to perform.
That’s where The Horned Toad comes in.
The Sierra Vista bar and music venue will host a benefit concert March 9 to raise money for Caron’s medical bills and help him get back on his feet.
Russell Myles Ward, owner of The Horned Toad at 526 W. Fry Blvd., said the concert will feature at least four local bands.
It will also feature a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. The $5 admission and all proceeds from bar sales and the raffle will go directly to Caron.
Local businesses are welcome to donate prizes to the raffle.
Caron is a member of Strange Love, a rock band that performs in Sierra Vista and Bisbee, one of the four music groups playing the March 9 concert.
Strange Love was set to perform March 9 when Caron was injured. Instead of canceling the event, Ward organized the benefit concert for Caron, who’ s well known at the Toad.
“If there’s something going on, there’s a good chance that Ben is going to walk through the doors,” Ward said. “He’s always there to support other bands and local music, so we want to support him.”
The benefit is personal to Titia Lewis, another local musician and business owner. She’s known Caron for almost 30 years. They met in high school and have been close friends ever since.
“We used to dance and act at the same theater company,” she said. “He and I both taught and took class there.”
Lewis said Caron is recovering well but they’re not sure when he’ll be released from the hospital. Until then, Caron is racking up hospital bills.
“The fact that he is alive is a miracle,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty amazing that everyone is willing to pitch in and everyone is willing to help out.”
Robin Bruce Stockmar, friend of Caron and a theater arts teacher at the Center for Academic Success, started a GoFundMe page that’s raised almost $4,000 out of its $5,500 goal. The page kicked off Feb. 14 and since then more than 60 people have contributed to the fundraiser.
Bruce Stockmar said the generosity people have shown on the GoFundMe account shows just how much Caron affected the community.
“People even donated from as far away as Germany,” she said.
Though she isn’t sure when Caron set foot on stage again, Bruce Stockmar hopes it’ll be sooner rather than later.
“I’m just hoping that he can recover and get back to everything,” she said. “We just really miss him because there’s a lot going on and he’s always there to pitch in and do things at the last second. … The go-to guy is not here.”