Remembering others through song has become a customary practice for local musician and songwriter Cal Howard of Alpena.
To date, he has written a tribute song called "Remember the Fallen Heroes" in honor of two local soldiers who died in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has written one in remembrance of local media personality/youth sports enthusiast Kerwin Kitzman.
In both instances, all the proceeds from the sale of his CDs went to good causes, including to help fund a Fallen Heroes Memorial on the grounds of the Besser Museum and for a variety of local children's causes important to Kitzman.
Now Howard has completed a third similar project, a CD remembering former Alpena Chamber of Commerce Director Richard McElroy, who died Nov. 26, 2010, after a battle with Lou Gehring's Disease. Howard's song is entitled, "A Man to Remember."
"I did this because Dick was dedicated to the community and he brought a lot of good to the community," Howard said. "So many people loved his humor. He also seemed to give of himself to individuals he didn't even know. It's a celebration of his life."
Just like the previous two CDs, Howard is donating the proceeds to two causes linked to his subject. Money raised from sales of "A Man to Remember" will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and to fight Lou Gehring's Disease (ALS).
McElroy led the Chamber of Commerce for 14 years, retiring in 2006. He shared a love for the outdoors and Northeast Michigan with his wife, Kathryn V. Dunham.
Helping Howard with this latest project was musician Joe Brisson. Not only did Brisson help with production, but he also played guitar and sang vocals. Other musicians featured on the CD are Lori Mousseau on keyboard and vocals, and Terry Thomas on bass. Howard sang vocals as well.
The CDs currently are available for sale at the 7-Eleven and Big Boy Restaurant on Ripley Street. Cost is a $10 donation.