The money was raised during their first Halfway to Hazard Celebrity Trail Ride in September, which was held on the Abner Farm in Crocketsville. It was hosted by Hazard-Perry County Tourism and saw around 7,000 people turn out from several different states for a day of events that included an ATV trail ride and a concert by Halfway to Hazard as well as other celebrity guests.
Halfway to Hazard stars David Tolliver and Chad Warrix said they got the idea to do the trail ride last year and it makes them proud to see how people in eastern Kentucky turned out and supported the cause.
“I got to say, this was an idea a little less than a year ago and now we are presenting a check. It is quite an honor for us. It is an emotional thing knowing we could reach out and touch the community,” Warrix said during the check presentation at the Center. “This money, I know it is going to be well spent and it is just really nice to see the money we can give back can actually touch kids and make a difference in their lives.”
Tolliver added, “I can’t believe how so many different people came together from so many different counties. It amazes me and makes my heart proud to be from eastern Kentucky and to know that you guys came together like you did. We didn’t know if anybody was going to show up.”
Buckhorn Children and Family Services (BCFS) cares for abused and neglected children from birth to 18-years-old by offering a variety of services from treatment foster care and adoption to residential living to transitional services and other programs. There are currently 31 children on campus at the Buckhorn Children’s Center with others on campus in Campton and in foster care across the state or in transitional living in Louisville.
Bill Owens, the President and CEO of BCFS, said he never thought the event would be as big as it was.
“We never thought it would be this big, but we realized from the very beginning that a lot of people were donating to this, giving their time, giving their money, and supplies, and it is when people come together that we can do good for everyone,” he said.
Being able to host the event in eastern Kentucky meant a lot to Tolliver, a Knott County native and Warrix, who is from Breathitt County. They met with the children at the Center and took pictures with them on Monday and some of the children also gave them thank you cards.
“There are a lot of times that you will donate to a charity and you won’t get to see who you are actually raising money for. To see the kids and be able to shake their hands and to see it in their eyes that they really appreciate what you and everybody else is doing for them is really cool,” Tolliver said.
Warrix added, “That is the beauty of having the event here. Everything was in this area. That was important to us. We could’ve done this event in Nashville, but we wanted to come home. We wanted make sure that we could give the money to someone and see it make a difference in the community.”
Owens says the money will be used to hire a recreational therapist and some of it will go toward putting bathrooms in the gym that was built without them in the 1920’s.
Walmart also presented the Center with a check for $1,250 and a reception was held at the Hazard-Perry County Senior Citizens Center for all the volunteers of the event. Halfway to Hazard stopped by to play a few songs for those in attendance.