If you go
Where: 120 Tavern & Music Hall, 1440 Roswell Road, Marietta, Ga.
When: 5 p.m. until close
In July, a week before he died, Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells posed for a picture in front of a garden at Disney World.
He wore white shorts and a black tank top, the same outfit he put on 18 years earlier, when his mother took a picture of him as a toddler in front of that same garden. After that first trip, Skip and Cathy Wells traveled to Disney World together every year.
But on July 16, Wells and four other military servicemen were shot to death in Chattanooga during an attack on the U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway. Wells, 21, was the youngest victim.
For family and friends, the shooting left them with only their memories of Wells. Like the photo of him at Disney World as a 3-year-old. And the one of him as an adult. Side by side. Same tank top. Same shorts. Same smile.
On Saturday night, Wells' family and friends and strangers will gather at 120 Tavern & Music Hall in Marietta, Ga., for a benefit concert in his memory. Admission is free, but event organizers are asking for donations.
The money raised will go to Marines & Mickey, a nonprofit that pays for Marines and their families to visit Disney World or Disneyland during a break from service. Dina Johnson, who is spearheading the event and is a spokeswoman for Marines & Mickey, said the charity sent 22 families to the amusement park in the last 16 months.
She said Cathy Wells wanted the nonprofit to benefit from the concert.
"Cathy has such a huge heart," she said. "She wants to do Skip's name proud. Skip would want all his brothers and sisters to enjoy the magic of Disney."
The concert begins at 5 p.m. and will feature five bands, two solo acts and a comedian. Johnson said she found the artists through mutual friends.
The event also will feature a raffle and a silent auction. Johnson said a gun club donated five weapons to be auctioned. Other auction offerings will include quilts, reefs, paintings, T-shirts, tumblers, stickers, afghans and a fishing rod.
Many of the handmade items, Johnson said, were donated to the event from members of a closed Facebook group called Crafty Marine Families.
During his funeral in July, friends remembered Wells as a boy who dreamed of serving in the military. He watched "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers" and painted toy soldiers. Once, when his friend got hurt, he pretended they were on the battlefield.
"We need a medic!" he yelled.
His superiors described him during the funeral as a man interested in learning. He followed his sergeant around the base, asking questions. When he injured his thumb hammering a tent stake, he refused medical treatment. He said a visit to the hospital would force him to leave his gun.
"That's the way he was," said 1st Sgt. John Coyne. "He cared more about his fellow Marines and the mission than he did his personal safety."
Contact Staff Writer Tyler Jett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6476.