By Jesse Wood
Concertgoers will have the opportunity to support the third annual High Country Toy Drive for the next week and a half beginning on Wednesday at The Painted Fish Café and Beer Bar in Banner Elk.
Lynn Lear, a wine distributor in Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain for The Country Vitner, started the local toy drive a few years ago, utilizing her restaurant and bar contacts as well as her musician friends.
“Everyone [I ask] is usually really great about it,” said Lear, who has been organizing other charity events around music entertainment in the area for about a decade.
“There is so much hidden need in our area that goes unnoticed,” Lear added. “Many generous people and organizations already do so much for the kids in state foster care and other programs. Our goal is to bring gifts to every child still left in need during the holiday season, whether it be the first toy they have ever received or a much needed winter coat. We don’t want any child to fall through the cracks.”
In the past two years, the toy drive has raised more than $5,000 in toys, gift cards and cash. Lear said she’s hoping this year’s drive, which will benefit The Children’s Hope Alliance (foster care) and the Hospitality House of Boone, raises more than $3,000.
Lear said that drive is seeking unwrapped toys and also cash and gift cards in order to shop specifically for kids in need.
Three area bands and three restaurants are taking part in the benefit – Hope Harvey and Friends Blues Review, Melissa Reaves and Handlebar Betty; and The Painted Fish Café and Beer Bar, The Local and Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub.
The first show takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 9, as Hope Harvey and Friends Blues Review will perform at The Painted Fish Café and Beer Bar in Banner Elk from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
On Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12, The Local in Boone will host Melissa Reaves’ 14th annual holiday show. Both nights begin at 8 p.m. Reaves show usually sells out and tickets are available in advance.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, Handlebar Betty will perform at Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub in Blowing Rock from 9 to 11 p.m.
“Thank you for supporting the children in our care. Because of you many of them are experiencing the love and hope of Christmas for the first time,” Abigail Lord of the Children’s Hope Alliance said.
For more information on the drive, contact Lear at 423.794.8825.
Other ways to give:
Send a check or use PayPal (my email is [email protected]), bring a donation/gift card/toy to one of the music events benefitting the drive, call Lear or drop by at the following locations:
- Boone Wellness Center
- Erick’s Cheese & Wine
- Painted Fish Cafe’
- Christopher’s Wine & Cheese
- The Pedalin’ Pig, Boone
- Jackalope’s View,
- Beech Mountain