Twenty-five local and regional performers are bringing their musical talents together for a one-of-a-kind variety show and fundraising benefit on Thursday, Dec. 2, at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset to support the families of the four Kingsford Manufacturing Company employees injured in a September flash fire at the Pulaski County plant.
Cumberland Productions, in partnership with The Center and 18 other community sponsors, will present the “Holiday Hootenanny,” a musical variety show, featuring both professional and amateur musicians on stage together for the first time in a down-home musical extravaganva.
The show, set to begin at 7 p.m. in The Center’s theatre, is inspired by the popular “Hootenanny” musical variety television show from the mid-1960s and will showcase a variety of musical acts from rock ‘n roll to bluegrass, gospel, folk, and country music.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the families of the “Kingsford Four,” the four employees who were critically injured in the late September flash fire at the charcoal plant just south of Burnside. One of the men later died from injuries suffered in the incident.
Carl Skaggs, event promoter for Cumberland Productions, said the idea for the fundraiser grew out of a conversation he had with Kingsford employee Jim Stout, who asked him to put together a benefit show for the victims and their families.
Skaggs, who has been involved in promoting musical shows and benefits for the last eight or nine years, said this particular cause really touches home.
“This community has one of the biggest hearts of any area I have ever lived in,” he said. “I am proud to be a part of the Somerset-Pulaski County area and call this community home.”
Stout, a songwriter and member of the Lake Cumberland Jammers, will be performing an original self-penned song, entitled “Take It Away,” during the country humor segment of the show.
Joining Stout at the event will be June Burton, Mary Ann Callarman, David Cathers, Classic Tymes, Tom Fee, LaMay and Reese, Bethel Mayfield, Tommy Minton, Mountain Connection, Out of Order, George Pierce, Junior Smith, the Sorghum Sisters, Ruth Thompson, Henry York and Nina Moore, Jim Sparks, Phyllis Fanning, and Hobert Lewis.
“The Center is honored to be a part of this community fundraising event and to help support the families of the ‘Kingsford Four,’” Laura Glover, director of sales and events for The Center, said. “We are looking forward to a great night of entertainment and top musical performances.”
Tickets are $12 each and may be purchased at The Center for Rural Development, 2292 South U.S. 27 (at Traffic Light 15), or by calling 606-677-6000. For more information or tickets, Skaggs may also be contacted at 606-677-2906.
At last count, approximately $6,000 in donations from ticket sales had already been raised toward meeting Skaggs’ overall goal for a sold-out house that night and pulling in upwards of $10,000 in benefit contributions. Donations may also be made to the “Kingsford Four Family Fund.”
In addition to The Center, the show is sponsored by Cumberland Lake Shell Inc., Kingsford Manufacturing Company, Lake Cumberland Jammers, Citizens National Bank, Community Trust Bank, Epperson Electric, K & T Saw Shop, Key Associates Waterfront Realty, Modern Distributors Inc., Monticello Banking Company, Somerset Internal Medicine, Reed Brothers Insurance, Somerset Hardwood Products, South Midway Supply Inc., Mike Strunk, Sully’s Restaurant, Tri-B Trucking Inc., and Wheeldon’s Appliance.