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Around 200 Turn Out for Boone Community Network Benefit Event for Sustainable Williamson Collaboration

By Paul T. Choate

Around 200 people turned out for the Boone Community Network event this past Saturday. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Around 200 people turned out for the Boone Community Network event this past Saturday. Photo by Ken Ketchie

March 25, 2013. Around 200 people turned out on Saturday, March 23, for the Boone Community Network’s second “Boone’s Got Talent” benefit show, date auction and party at the High Country Press offices front lobby in downtown Boone. 

The event was free to attend and a charity date auction was held with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Sustainable Williamson collaborative, a collaborative effort involving several organizations and government entities with the goal of creating a replicable model of sustainability for economically distressed communities throughout Central Appalachia.

In total, approximately $2,000 was raised for Sustainable Williamson by auctioning off 16 different people to go on a group date to Proper on Sunday, April 14, according to Boone Community Network (BCN) co-founder Rio Tazewell. 

The event was, in part, a benefit, but was also part of a series of BCN community events that typically feature free admission, a talent show, live music, spoken word poetry and — believe it or not in 2013 — free beer. 

“The feedback has been incredibly positive. Everybody has just been blown away by how much talent and authenticity is represented at these events,” Tazewell said, adding that people have come up to him saying they have met lots of like-minded people and also that they enjoy the large turnouts and free admission.

The event kicked off with an address by Sustainable Williamson’s Eric Mathis, an Appalachian State  University alumnus. This was followed by the talent show that featured musical acts, comedy routines and spoken word poetry. Tazewell said about 40 participants were in the talent show in all. Following the talent show came the date auction. 

The event concluded with a special performance by the Boone progressive rock band the Naked Gods. 

During the event, local digital media production group Wonderland Woods — operated by Paul Halluch, Jerry Sebastian and Eitan Abramowitz — got in on the fun and made a very special BCN “Harlem Shake” video.

Tazewell said going forward, in order to keep BCN events free, they will continue to seek out sponsors for their events. The event this past Saturday was sponsored by clothier Local. 

The next BCN event will be held in conjunction with the Howard Street Exchange, scheduled to be held on Howard Street in downtown Boone between Depot and Water streets on April 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on BCN, visit connectboone.net

By Wonderland Woods

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