The ninth annual John Jarrard Concert raised about $95,000 that will be donated to local charities this year.
"It was a big year, we were real pleased with it," said Jody Jackson, executive director of the John Jarrard Foundation. "With the economy and everything, it was an extreme success."
The Bruce Burch & Friends benefit concert honoring John Jarrard was held on the lawn at Brenau University Sept. 23. The event celebrates the art of songwriting and features successful Nashville songwriters as well as local songwriters.
The concert honors the life of John Jarrard, a Gainesville man who had a successful career as a country music songwriter before he died in 2001 from diabetes.
"We do this in memory of John to keep his memory and legacy alive," said Bruce Burch, a fellow songwriter and a friend of Jarrard. "We say his memory lives on through his songs."
The $95,000 was raised through ticket sales, sponsorships and an auction.
"We had some great auction items that really brought some money for us," Jackson said.
Autographed guitars from successful North Georgia musician Zac Brown went for more than $1,000 a piece, and Richard Leigh, a songwriter who performed at the concert, auctioned off a private concert for $9,000.
"It turned out being bigger than last year," Jackson said. "This was also a special year because John Jarrard was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame."
The money raised will go to organizations that Jarrard supported, including Good News at Noon, the Boys & Girls Clubs and the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.
Burch said Gene Beckstein, the founder of Good News at Noon and Good News Clinics, had a big impact on Jarrard's life.
"He coached him in basketball when John played at the boys club," Burch said. "He was a great mentor to John and John always supported them when he was alive."
In the nine years the concert has been held, approximately $800,000 has been raised for the Jarrard Foundation.
Jackson said he is already working toward making the concert even bigger next year.
"Next year is our 10th year and we're really looking forward to it," Jackson said.