If you’re looking for a way to enjoy some live music and support charity at the same time, the Mitch Farmer June Jam is just what you need.
The event raises money for the Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, an organization that was one of Farmer’s favorites before he died in 2009. Family and friends decided to carry on the event after his death to raise more money for CASA.
“It became a CASA-specific fundraiser,” said Janet Walden, executive director of CASA. “To honor him, they've continued to do it year after year.”
This year’s event will be 6-10 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at The Venue at Friendship Springs. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
Walden said the event used to be outside, but was moved inside to the Gainesville Civic Center after June’s heat and rainy weather. THe event has grown so much they needed a bigger space, so they’re hoping The Venue does the trick.
“That’s one of the wonderful things,” Walden said. “People come to this event because of their love for (Mitch). And that is still very evident when I talk to folks that are here, and folks that want to sponsor a table. They just want to be there to honor him.”
Walden said there will be a silent auction, food provided by Shane’s Rib Shack, drinks and plenty of fun this year. The event usually raises around $25,000, but this year’s goal is set at $50,000, which Walden said is “pretty ambitious, but we're headed in that direction.”
“It's just a really fun event with good music, good food and people get to hear about CASA and the work that we're doing to help kids out,” Walden said.
As one of the main fundraisers for CASA, Walden said she’s happy the organization is gaining exposure. She said there’s a need for people to understand what CASA offers. If people get to enjoy music and food while learning about it, she’s on board.
“We have more than 400 kids in foster care in our community and each one of those needs a CASA volunteer to advocate for them and be their voice in the court system,” Walden said. “Getting people to understand that there is a tremendous need in our community and trying to find the financial support and volunteer support so that every child has that benefit of having a CASA volunteer (is important).”