On Saturday, August 11, the Roof Raiser Volunteers for the River Falls Fire Department sponsored a Bluegrass Band Benefit at Lakemont Colony, in Cleveland, South Carolina, benefiting the River Falls Fire Department. Rain came slowly then poured down, but that did not stop over 250 people from enjoying this charitable event.
Two Bluegrass Bands came and performed Mountain Creek Bluegrass featuring Mike Elrod and Josh Johnson’s group. “Both groups provided wonderful music for free for us to listen to. I went up and thanked them for their time and contribution,” says Pat McCain, Wellness Specialist, and Nurse from the area. It was calming and relaxing listening to the beautiful sounds of banjos and guitars with the local community, smiling and talking with each other… coming together to support each other to raise money for this important cause.
Other locals offered free services at this event. Tara Manahan, Massage Therapist from My Own Two Hands, offered free chair massages. The River Falls Fire Department gave Blood Pressure screenings to anyone from age 3 to 80. The firefighters also let the children climb in their fire trucks and put on their fire suits, pretending to serve as firefighters for their community.
If someone wanted to eat while listening to the relaxing Bluegrass tunes, all they had to do was walk down to the line of tables. They could buy Dukes’ Pimento Cheese or Ham and Pepper Spread Sandwiches along with a wide array of desserts like Pink Lemonade Cupcakes and Chocolate Covered Pecans…all made with love from volunteers in the community. Deb Gravely, one of the volunteer River Falls Fire Fighters, helped at the food table and says, “I talked to 90% of the people that came. People for the most part do love our fire department and want to do something to help,” she says.
The Raffle was one of the highlights of the night. Tickets sold at $4.00 each or three for $10. Local artists donated their creations for the cause such as walking sticks from Doyle Kay, local photos of the Falls of Downtown Greenville, and a delicious peach pie. However, the most prized, sought after pieces came from Cleveland, South Carolina’s local artist Don Lewis and his beautifully detailed pottery. Pat McCain had her eye on one of the large fruit bowls. When she heard her number, she glowed like a girl in a candy store. “I have wanted to own one of these bowls for years. I was glad when I heard my number!” She happily exclaimed.
At the end of this exciting night, $3,200 came in for the River Falls Fire Department. “It’s a start,” says Lois Keenan, volunteer Firefighter for River Falls Fire Department. Deb Gravely added that even though this task seems “so overwhelming, this is a relatively short amount of time to put that much money in the bank.”
This is just the beginning of many fundraising events the Roof Raisers will have as they raise funds for the River Falls Firefighters. Julia Ward, chairperson of the Bluegrass Benefit was amazed at all the people that came out for this event. “I thought the event went very well in spite of the weather. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.”
Many of the locals appreciate what their firefighters do to protect them and their neighbors. “I admire their dedication-it requires a certain mindset to put oneself in a position to respond to life-threatening events especially when it is mostly volunteer,” affirms Pat McCain. “These community events bring our area together,” states Tara Manahan.
Greenville County residents need to get behind this community and support them in ALL their events as they raise funds for a new firehouse for their firefighters…because we never know when we might need them at 3 am…
If you would like to give a donation, please send your contribution to the following address:
River Falls Fire District
Board of Fire Control
602 River Falls Road
Marietta, South Carolina 29661