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Festival weekend benefits our county's studentsPosted Friday, May 21, 2010, at 1:01 PM
Well, the big Greene County Foundation Festival Weekend -- featuring County Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark and his talented friends -- is almost upon us and there's still time to grab some good tickets for the musical show or to sign up for the golf tournament.
The festival runs June 4-6.
For the past 31 years an army of community-minded volunteers have rolled up their sleeves and planned a weekend of music and golfing with one thing in mind -- helping to raise college scholarship money for our Greene County students.
We've been blessed with a couple of entertainment icons to provide the headliner star-power for the show -- Linton's own hometown guy, the late Phil Harris, and its adopted son, Roy Clark.
Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised through the generosity of the entertainment folks who come and perform, those who sit in the seats for the show and play in the golf tournament, as well as the faithful local donors and sponsors.
Proceeds from the show go to scholarships for a student at each of the five Greene County high schools -- Bloomfield, White River Valley, Linton-Stockton, Shakamak and Eastern Greene.
Last year, five $500 Foundation Achievement Scholarships were presented to students from proceeds derived from the Roy Clark and Friends concert.
The Phil Harris/Alice Faye Charities organization garners the proceeds from the golf tournament and the Shrine Club Celebrity Dinner and annually hands out more than $10,000 in scholarships to six Linton-Stockton High School graduates.
The Greene County community is fortunate to be able to put on a quality music show and golf tourney to help our future generation with educational opportunity.
That's the key.
Roy Clark knows that.
Roy is a guy who learned to play stringed instruments as a small child back in Virginia on an old cardboard cigar box that had strings stretched across it.
Today, he's in the Hall of Fame and he deeply cares about the younger generation.
That's why he comes here to put on a show free of charge as do the other out of town performers.
The benevolent spirit of those who come to help our community is to be commended and appreciated.
The best way we can say thank you is by buying show tickets and playing in the golf tournament.
Roy is quick to remind that the Hoosier hospitality he, his band and other entertainers receive when the come here every year is unmatched at any other venue.
Clark calls it a homecoming, like a big family reunion.
Richard Kennedy, who's been Roy's band leader for the past two decades, summed it up in a recent e-mail to me.
"There is one event that Roy would not dare miss and that is going to Linton. No other place in the world treats us the way Linton does and, for lack of a better way to say it, that is 'just like home'. I know that phrase sometimes gets overused but that is how we all genuinely feel," he wrote. "The joy of getting to be a part of something so special means a lot to us also. It is so heartwarming to see a community come together to do something nice for others. The scholarships that have been given thus far have helped to enrich the lives of everyone involved. We are looking forward to seeing our old friends again in a few days and, as always, making new ones while we are there."
Last year, Clark told me his deep rooted feelings for wanting to see this show and golf tournament continue.
I'm honored to sit on the committee that helps plan the weekend and I can tell you we all want to see the show go on for many years to come.
However, it is time start planning for the future and the show and the weekend's activities need to evolve.
That evolution will involve change, which is coming.
We are kicking around a lot of ideas of how to make the show better and possibly more younger-generation friendly. Those ideas will be better known in the months to come as we start planning the 2011 show.
I can tell you that in whatever changes are made the spirit of Phil Harris and Alice Faye and what Roy Clark and his friends have helped us establish will be carried on.
We will heed the advice of Clark who told me, "Always remember why we started coming here (to Linton) to begin with and why we continue, it's because of Alice and Phil. There are so many things involved. This (event) just didn't happen. It happened with Phil and Alice years ago and they just built this fraternity together up here (in Linton). So when the entertainers and all the people come up, we just add to what is already here -- the volunteers and the people who support it and make it work. We come in and on a given weekend and we just do whatever it takes to do our part."
The 77-year-old Clark, who's been an entertainer for more than 60 years, has pledged to help continue the good thing we have going here in Greene County as "long as the Lord is willing."
Come to the show on June 5 and you'll see Old Roy can still pick.
Reserved floor seats are $26 and reserved bleacher seats are $15. General admission bleacher seats are $10.
Tickets can be purchased during business hours at Francis' Jewel Box at 145 North Main Street in Linton.
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 (812) 847-9950.
Entry and green fees for the six man scramble golf tournament are $70 per person per round. Call 847-4790 to sign up.
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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