The 22nd Annual ACRDC Benefit Concert was Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Alread F.U.N. Park. For many from here on the mountain, the all-day family event has been a staple in our lives every year, too quickly marking the passing of time. This year’s concert was a laid-back and enjoyable event for everyone, and ACRDC really appreciates each person who came out to support them and the community. And those who helped in any way, whether it was working with the concessions (a full-time job all by itself, absolutely), running the gate, volunteering for security, helping to set up or take down the stage, etc., thank you so much.

May Gardens, Southern Grass Band, Richard Finch, Possum Juice, Train Wreck, Grades of Absolute Truth, and Typsy Gypsy performed throughout the day and each band did a great job. I think everyone walked away with their own personal favorites, but the bands came out, worked it, and ACRDC appreciates their time and their willingness to participate in its fundraiser; these guys played at (sometimes greatly) reduced fees to help our community out, and that’s something we should never forget to be grateful for.

Eleven teams competed in the single-elimination horseshoe tournament this year, and Cody Harbison and Mike Callum from Clinton won 1st place, Mark Blair and Randy Hollis from Witt Springs won 2nd place, and Darrell and Brandon McDonald from Alread won 3rd place. Mark Blair had a good day, because he also won $100 in the chicken drop. Another winner in the chicken drop was the Southern Grass Band, who, as fate would have it, won a guitar. The salsa contest is always fantastic. There were six entries, and a very well-earned congratulations to each of the winners! Susan Heaney won first place, Burtie Harder won second place, and Alec Ioup won third place. Sue Nuffer worked really hard, getting donations for the silent auction, and bidders had until 6:30 p.m. to bid on each item that they wanted. A lot of work went into each item donated to the silent auction, and thank you to everyone who made a donation.

The Alread Fire Department provided the kiddie corner again this year, generously bringing out their bouncy house and several games and prizes that the kids could play and win, and helped to watch over the children who were playing in that area. Kids 12 and under got into the concert for free, and ACRDC wanted to do that this year to help families out.

There were several other donations given, and it would be impossible to name them all, but I’ll try. Joel Griffith in Memphis, a mutual friend to ACRDC, screen printed the shirts pretty much at zero profit, allowing us to make more from them. Tyson in Russellville wanted to donate 150 pounds of chicken strips, and ACRDC accepted 80 pounds (and still have enough left for its next fundraiser, the fall festival!), and several businesses in Clinton donated different items, such as gift cards, cups, wraps, napkins, etc. and those include: Western Sizzlin, Taco Bell, Walmart, KFC, McDonald’s, and Subway.

ACRDC has been around for over 25 years now, and the organization worked with the (now closed) Alread School, helping to fund equipment and building projects. Today, the organization’s focuses include the scholarships it awards to students from the local area; funding and maintaining the Alread F.U.N. Park; recycling; and working with the other Alread organizations in the community events held throughout the year. The benefit concert is ACRDC’s biggest fundraiser every year and its main source of income. The next fundraiser will be a poker run, which will be planned and announced soon.