Summer Jam offers family fun

Helps Chestnut Ruritan Club help community

By Nicholas Elmes -

Looking for some good, free family fun before school starts?

The Chestnut Grove Ruritan Club has the answer for you with their annual Summer Jam in King Central Park on Aug. 22.

For the past nine years the Chestnut Ruritan Club has hosted the free concert to provide an inexpensive way for the community to come together while helping to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

This year the Summer Jam will feature Atomic Roots, The Taylor Vaden Elvis Band and Rain Jacket on stage as well as a car cruise-in and lots of concessions. The concert will run from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Chestnut Grove Ruritan Daphne McHone said the Summer Jam originated after the club was looking for a way to bring the community together while helping to raise money for a cause nine years ago.

“I think we had four bands that first year,” she said. “Since then it has been such a success and the people love it. They can just come and sit down and enjoy the music, then toward the end of the evening we do raffle prizes.”

McHone said the club gets area businesses to donate prizes for the raffle and sells $5 tickets for two big prizes and $1 tickets for smaller prizes.

“This year we have a set of tires from Piedmont Tire valued at $400, a print from the Tim Bruce Art Gallery, valued at $295, and a print donated by the Hampton House that is worth $330 as the big prizes,” she said, noting that each prize is valued at $400. “Then we have smaller prizes like a $25 gift certificate to a local hair salon. We have had a great success with the local businesses being in support of this.”

McHone said while the concert is free, concessions will be for sale at the event including hot dogs, pizza and ice cream.

“Local businesses are also donating a lot of the food and food items,” she said. “Dairo, Hwy. 55 and John Brown’s Country Store are all donating food for the concessions.”

She said that over the years the Chestnut Grove Ruritan Club has been able to raise $10,000 for the American Cancer Association through the event, noting that in addition to the raffle and food sales attendees can also make donations at the event.

This year the event will also be featuring a car cruise-in for the first time ever.

“A bunch of our members go to the cruise-ins around here,” said McHone, noting the cruise-in is open to anyone who wants to participate. “The only thing we ask is that they get here by 5 p.m. so we can get them in before the rest of the crowd arrives.”

McHone said the event has drawn as many as 400 people in years past and hopes that it will continue to be a successful event.

“Just come out and bring your family and enjoy,” she said. “The club is just trying to make this a community evening where people don’t have to worry about the expense. Our club is in the community to help the community.”

Over the course of the year the Chestnut Grove Ruritan Club makes contributions to the West Stokes special needs class and the Stokes County Special Olympics, provides scholarships for West Stokes High School students, dictionaries for Stokes County third-graders, contributes to Relay for Life, helps with Adopt-A-Highway roadside cleanups, helps the Stokes Family YMCA and boy scouts and provides assistance to families in crisis.

In addition to the Summer Jam the club will be hosting a money giveaway draw-down on Sept. 26 at the Sauratown Fire Department and Public Service Dinner in October at Chestnut Grove United Methodist Church.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

Helps Chestnut Ruritan Club help community

By Nicholas Elmes

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