Vergennes Ferrisburgh resident Jackie Rivers had an idea after volunteering at a Make-A-Wish event in Burlington earlier this year.
The idea, in addition to becoming more involved with Make-A-Wish, was to spread the mission of the wish-granting, non-profit foundation outside of Chittenden County—to encourage residents of Addison and Rutland counties to get involved since children from these areas are recipients of Make-A-Wish wishes, too.
Rivers, who operates Conquer Artist Development, a talent promotion business, wanted to bring two of Vermont’s brightest, homespun country music stars together. The basic concept was to raise money for Make-A-Wish plus have a good time. Thus was born the Make-A-Wish Country Music Fundraiser, to be held Saturday, Dec. 8, 7-11 p.m., at the American Legion Post in Vergennes.
“Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization, grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their human experience with hope, strength, and joy,” Rivers said. “In order to qualify for a wish, the child must be between the ages of two and a half and 18 at the time of referral. The organization then grants their wishes.”
Rivers heard the stories of several Vermont families, and their ill children, who had the good fortune of being the recipients of Make-A-Wish’s dreams-come-true.
“These stories are so wonderful to hear,” she said. “That’s I wanted to get involved more.”
Rivers invited Vermont country musicians Keeghan Nolan and Jimmy T. Thurston to get involved and headline a central Vermont event.
Both Nolan and Thurston agreed to the idea—they said it was a cause worth singing about. Thurston’s band, the Sleepy Hollow Boys, will be on stage, too, along with Nolan’s backup group.
Nolan, a vibrant young woman, mixes country, rock and blues together in her music. Jimmy T., celebrated as Vermont’s “outlaw” of country rock and roll, has made a name for himself through performances in hallowed honky tonks around the United States.