DONNY ROZE SINGS for the elderly and those in need. He will headline "Messages of Love," a benefit concert.

When considering Valentine's Day, remember the best way to get love is to give. Heart and Hope Ministries hosted Messages of Love, a concert-fundraiser on Saturday. The concert will benefit the ministry, whose aim is to deliver comfort and hope to elders with the power of music, as well as other Ashland charities. Community activist Jeff Golden will host the event., and Donny Roze and Friends will offer Latin-flavored love songs. The concert features special guests "A"-Town Infusion, a band described as danceable and eclectic. A raffle will be held throughout the night for various prizes.

For Donny Roze, founder and executive director of Heart and Hope Ministries, music is love. Every day, Donny uses his musical therapy background, his performance skills, and his intuition to bring joy to elderly people in nursing homes, adult foster care, or other elder facilities. "Music is healing. It is a spiritual thing, an energetic thing. It's love."

Though he has always worked in some capacity with the elderly, it was after being laid off from his job as an elementary-school music teacher that Roze realized he wanted to be of service to the elderly.

"Previously, I had worked with the elderly, and I wanted to do more for them," he said.

Rose says he has seen firsthand the spiritual and physical effects loneliness and neglect had on some elders in care homes, particularly the poor.

With degrees in music and psychology, as well as a deep understanding of human needs, Roze founded the Heart and Hope Ministries.

Roze and his band of "musical caregivers" travel and uplift the spirits of those in need. Sunday afternoons, Roze can be seen and heard at Linda Vista Care Center in Ashland. "We get together, sing songs, play instruments, and just make a joyful noise," he adds.

He's hoping the fundraising concert on will help with the purchase of some equipment and general expenses. Proceeds will also help benefit the Food Bank and the Jackson County Fuel Committee.

For further information or to become a volunteer contact Donny Roze at 482-5531.