Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center turned into a music venue Saturday as artists took their places on stage at Mitch Farmer’s annual June Jam, benefitting the Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Realtor Mitch Farmer created June Jam to benefit local charities. Since his death in 2009, event organizers have continued to hold the concert each year in honor of his memory and to keep Farmer’s passion for helping others alive.
This was the first year June Jam took place at its new venue, promising an even better concert experience than previous years.
Arnold Patterson and his grandson, Tyler, make the June Jam a yearly tradition.
“I bring my grandson out to this every summer when he visits from Washington,” he said. “It’s a good thing to be able to come out to an event that’s very much community-based and benefits charity.”
The concert kicked off with an afternoon hour of tunes by local songwriters. The main event began when featured artists Sandra Hall, Allen Nivens, Kurt Thomas and the Vertigo Band performed.
Hall has made her name working with names such as The Temptations, Otis Redding, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight and the Pips. Thomas, a native of nearby Dahlonega, has opened for country singers Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, Zac Brown Band and Brooks & Dunn, to name a few.
Moby, host of radio’s “Moby in the Morning” show, was the June Jam’s host for the evening.
Concertgoers were able to enjoy music and food while children played in bounce houses and got their faces painted.
A silent auction and raffle were also held for prizes that included an iPad and use of a 2012 Nissan for a year. In the spirit of the event’s mission, a percentage of proceeds from the children’s area, raffle and silent auction will go to a trust fund for Farmer’s daughter, Olivia Farmer.
Gainesville resident Darla Ramirez attended June Jam with her family as a fun summer outing for her kids.
“The music is really of top quality, and we love that there’s a bunch of different things to do,” she said. “The kids have their thing, and my husband and I are familiar with a lot of the songs that are played. It’s very family-friendly; kind of the best of both worlds.”
Patterson said Tyler had a good time bouncing in the bounce house and dancing to the music.
“We’ve come out each year since he was 4, and we intend to keep the tradition alive.”