By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The Carter County Shrine Club wrapped their 31st annual bluegrass festival on Saturday, bringing in more than $4,000 in ticket sales and camping fees for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals across our region, according to club president Kenny Adkins. Adkins said it had been a wonderful event, with good participation – they had 165 RV campers rent spots, in addition to folks staying in tents, and “a good drive-in crowd” – all of whom seemed to enjoy their weekend.
“It’s been great,” Adkins said between sets on Saturday afternoon. “The weather has been good. The crowd has been really good. The entertainment has been great, and we’ve not really had any issues of any kind.”
Even when the sky did open up, it waited until the music was over for the evening and ceased before events started again for the day.
“I’d say the weather has been very cooperative,” Adkins said. “We had a little rain last night, and Good Lord willing we won’t have any today.”
“Everyone has had a really good time,” he continued. “Attendance has been great, and the people have just been excellent.”
He said while they did have a few campers call and cancel at the last minute, due to unforeseen circumstances, most of those spots were quickly snatched up by others looking for accommodations.
“Back earlier in the week we’d have somebody call and cancel, and then have somebody call looking for a spot, so it kind of evened out,” Adkins said.
In addition to the money raised from the ticket sales and camping, the organization also raised “a couple thousand dollars” through their pass the bucket events – money which goes directly to the hospitals.
“All that goes straight to support the hospitals,” Adkins said. “Last night we passed the bucket, which is something we normally do… while Ralph II was on… and ended up taking in $2215.00 for their hospitals. And that money, every bit of that money, goes straight to the hospital.”
He said they planned to do the same on Saturday night during the set by Dave Adkins who – like Stanley – is also a Shriner.
The money raised by the festival helps cover all expenses for these families that aren’t covered by their traditional insurance plans.
“There is no expense incurred by the kids that are treated at the hospital,” Adkins said. “They do take insurance, if you do have insurance, but they don’t take a deductible or anything like that. So they take what insurance pays and if you don’t have insurance, no charge.”
Most of the Shrine temples also have transportation available for families as well, if they need transport back and forth to a hospital.
“At El Hasa, we have what we call A-Team, and they transport to Lexington and Dayton. Lexington is the orthopedic hospital. Dayton is the burn center.”
That location used to be in Cincinnati, he explained, but it was moved to Dayton last year to make better use of their resources and provide more service without maintaining a larger facility than necessary.
Along the way, they have a lot of fun with their friends and family while enjoying the music, but it’s ultimately all about serving the kids.
“As we like to say, we’re having fun so kids can run,” Adkins said.
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