MIDDLE POINT — Helping children is the mission of Huggy Bear Campground during its seventh annual Showcase of Bands for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The event takes place Friday and Saturday at Huggy Bear Campground in Middle Point. Campers and non-campers are welcome to attend.
“In the first six years of the benefit, we have raised over $398,000 for St. Jude,” said Vicki Otto, event coordinator.
Last year the event raised $113,000, and Otto hopes to surpass that amount this year.
Inspiration for starting the fundraiser came from the various kids who enjoy the campground.
“Mike, the owner, was talking one day that he wanted to do some sort of benefit. We sat around and talked and thought about the campground and how it’s for kids and family fun. We got to thinking that at St. Jude, some of those kids don’t get to have this fun like others do. It’s such an awesome hospital and facility that we just thought it would be a good one to go with,” said Otto.
The fundraiser has made a significant impact on the regular campers at St. Jude, as more people are getting involved with raising money throughout the year for St. Jude.
”There’s definitely more people who are kind of getting involved and doing things. Just this past year, beside St. Jude weekend, someone did a purse bingo, somebody did a lawnmower derby, someone did a golf outing, someone did a gun raffle, they did a quarter auction. And those were all different people who said, ‘Hey, we want to do our own little thing,’ and then that all goes towards our St. Jude benefit. It’s just amazing how it’s growing, and everybody wants to do their part, so that’s good,” said Otto.
The event has a host of giveaways — two 50/50 drawings, a golf cart giveaway, kids bike giveaway and the big giveaway of $20,000.
Along with the music, there is a fishing derby, cornhole tournament, kids tractor pull, a 5K, activities for kids, live auctions, a silent auction, bingo, mystery safes and more. Food vendors are present throughout the event, as well.
“People just come to the benefit to spend money to help the cause. If they don’t want to come out and do the cornhole or other activities, they can come out, get a sandwich and sit and listen to music. There’s just something for everyone,” said Otto.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.