(Crystal A. Proxmire, 10/15/2011)
Camp Casey Fest is in full swing, but also in full wind. The day-long festival to raise money so that kids with cancer can enjoy time with horses is taking place until 11pm, with plenty of fun, shopping and music. Country music star Josh Gracin is headlining the event, and he is expected to take the stage at 8:30pm.
After 5pm ticket sales are $15. E. 9 Mile is closed at Woodward for the event.
“So far it’s going well,” says event organizer Molly Reeser. “There’s not as many people as we’d like but hopefully the wind will die down and people will come out tonight.”
Cork Wine Pub Executive Chef Ruben Griffin, Dino’s Lounge owner Dean Back, and Emory manager Emily Husband were among those at the event sharing chili as part of the chili cook-off. Those who attended the event were given samples of chili at several booths, and the one with the most “votes,” counted by donations in the jars, will be declared the winner. Griffin created a gourmet roasted pumpkin turkey chili especially for the event. “It will be nice if we win,” Griffin said, “but really it’s all about raising money for Camp Casey. Every penny in that jar helps the charity.”
In addition to the cook-off, other booths have local companies with interesting products. Ramone Davis of Bulk Beef Jerky in Madison Heights was among the vendors. Selling Michigan-made jerky is his passion, and his company has gotten so successful in the past six years that now for every bag of jerky they sell, they send another to troops overseas. “We found that a lot of our orders were being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. We’d send them a note thanking them for their order and for their service, but now we do this as our part of contributing to what they are over there doing for our country,” Davis said. “They like jerky because it’s something they can keep on them and take into the field, or have in a pocket when they’re on the go.”
Camp Casey, a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2003, offers three unique programs to children with cancer and their families. Cowboy Camp Outs are overnight mini-vacations at dude ranches in Michigan; Horsey House Calls bring a horse to the doorstep of kids too ill to attend an overnight retreat; Outlaw Outings provide family-oriented activities, like attending professional sports games, without the expense or hassle of planning. All of Camp Casey’s programs are free for families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis. Learn more at www.camp-casey.org.
The event continues until 11pm.