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Greene County blessed to have big weekendPosted Friday, May 16, 2008, at 2:05 PM
Does the Greene County community realize how blessed it is each year to have one of the best all-around musical entertainment shows take the stage right here in its own backyard?
The show and golf tournament have been happening for 29 years.
It all was founded by Linton's own Phil Harris, who made a name for himself in the entertainment business as a singer, songwriter, jazz musician, TV show host, comedian, movie star and humanitarian, to raise scholarship money for the kids in his hometown.
It continues today as the Greene County Foundation Festival Weekend.
It's coming May 30, May 31 and June 1.
Country music star Roy Clark has stepped up to the plate and taken on the headliner role since Phil Harris' death in 1995.
One weekend a year, Clark and his talented friends come to town from all over the United States to continue the legacy started by Phil Harris. Their goal is to put on the best musical show and golf tournament they can -- with the help and guidance from a loyal bunch of Greene County volunteers -- to raise money so our children have a better opportunity to further their education.
These entertainers do the show at no charge to the local committee who puts on the event.
Some even give a donation back to the scholarship fund before they leave town.
Roy told me this week in a telephone interview from his home in Tulsa, Okla., that reaching out with his musical talent and being able to help the younger generation is what keeps him wanting to come back to Linton every year to do his part to make the Festival weekend a success.
"To be involved with young people and think maybe you have helped a little bit, that is what life is all about," the talented musician said.
An army of local volunteers work for months in planning, coordinating and providing the actual manpower to pull off this major undertaking.
Area businesses open their billfolds and donate cash and goods for the event with little prodding because they believe in the project and want to help the youth in our communities.
The event is the Greene County Foundation's main source of scholarship money for graduating seniors from all our high schools -- Bloomfield, Eastern Greene, Shakamak, White River Valley, and Linton-Stockton.
Over the years thousands and thousands of dollars have been raised and hundreds of youths have benefited through the scholarships.
That's something this community and the folks that come to town to help should be very proud of.
Along the way, many of the visiting entertainers and celebrities who gather in our town have forged some real friendships and in the words of Roy Clark this event has become like a big family reunion each year to him and his band members.
I wonder how many people you know -- including yourself -- have attended the Greene County Foundation Festival Weekend, which is coming up later this month?
How many of you have attended the entertainment show? It's the same show you would see in Branson or Nashville and pay three times the price for.
How many of you have attended the Celebrity Dinner at the Greene County Shrine Club?
How many of you have played in or went out to the golf course to watch the tournament and have a chance to talk with some of the entertainers, former Major League baseball and National Football League players who come to our town for this very worthwhile event?
A full field of about 400 golfers is expected to tee off May 31 and June 1, according to Bart Beard, who's been directing the tournament for 15 years.
This year's show at Linton-Stockton High School gym promises to be another good one.
Clark and his band, along with Justin David and his band, will headline the show.
Two new performers -- John Adam Murph and Heather Myles have been booked.
Linton native and aspiring Nashville singer Holly (Dunn) Lynn will also make a return to the stage.
Other "regulars" on the show, that will be emceed by comedian Woody Woodbury, will be sing-songwriter Wayne Carson, as well as Grand Ole Opry performers Jan Howard and Jerry Chestnut.
Tickets for show are still available on a first come, first serve basis with plenty of good seats left, according to ticket manager Kathy Matthews.
Floor seats are $24, reserved bleacher seats (rows 2-6), $14 and general admission bleacher seats $10.
Tickets are available at Francis' Jewell Box at 145 N. Main Street in Linton. Walk-ins for ticket purchases are welcome during business hours Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to noon; Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets can also be obtained by mail at Roy Clark Show Tickets, 145 North Main Street, Linton, Ind., 47441 or by phone at (800) 299-7445 or 847-9950.
See you there.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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