The annual Elkin Valley Trails Association Boogie just keeps getting better and better.
“Everything considered, I think this year’s event was the best yet,” said Joe Hicks, spokesperson for the Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA). The total amount raised at the fifth annual event Thursday evening was $19,806.92, including $260 in merchandise sales such as EVTA T-shirts, hats and books.
Hicks greeted guests in The Liberty banquet room beginning at 5:30 Thursday evening, selling many who hadn’t already bought them $50 tickets for a raffle later in the event for a free four-night trip for two to the Carriearl Resort in Grand Harbor, Bahamas. The trip includes three meals per day, a half-day boat tour, open bar and airfare to and from Charlotte.
The winners of the raffle drawing were Maricella and Rick Chatham. Hicks said the raffle raised about $16,000 of the total money raised for the EVTA’s next building project — a bridge on the trail to Stone Mountain. Donations also will be used to support building a segment of the Mountains to Sea Trail as well as a new mountain bike and vineyard trail.
A line of tables at the fundraiser featured displays by the EVTA and other nature projects it supports such as the Elkin Creek fishing and stream restoration project, birding, walking, running, paddling and native wildflower gardens.
The cruise was donated by Diane and Skip Whitman, local benefactors and community supporters. EVTA members also had been selling tickets and merchandise in advance at the Elkin Farmers Market, held on Saturdays in the parking lot of Town Hall.
Hicks said the turnout for the event, which lasted until 9 p.m., was so big that the 222 Public House catering service sold out of its barbecue buffet. Owners Erika and Jeff Gibbs donated a portion of the proceeds to the EVTA.
EVTA Treasurer Joe Mickey said he was also pleased with the event. “It was just a real good night all the way around,” he said.
The Jewel Tones band, which has performed at each of the annual fundraisers, was back again Thursday evening. Hicks said the band draws in people from out of the area to the event.
“They have a lot of supporters,” he said. “I saw this one lady wearing a T-shirt that had the name of the band on it.”
At one point during the evening, everyone in attendance sang “Happy Birthday” to retired physician Dr. Hal Stuart, who Hicks said was one of the first children born at the old Hugh Chatham Hospital and spent his whole life and medical practice in Elkin except for his service during World War II.
“Dr. Stuart has always supported us monetarily and any other way that he can,” Hicks said.
EVTA Chairman Dr. Bill Blackley, in an email thanking a long list of event organizers and supporters Friday, expressed his gratitude to Phyllis Harris for her tribute to Dr. Stuart and his wife, Bonnie, “who bring such great love and heart to the Trails and the Boogie.”
For more information on the EVTA or to get involved with the group, log onto elkinvalleytrails.org.
Kathy Chaffin may be reachead at 336-258-4058.