The 10th anniversary of the Family Traditions HOOT (Help Out Our Town) is just a few weeks away and founder/organizer Tina Turley can’t wait.
“It’s always a good time,” says the country singing sensation who, alongside her friend Karen Wood, coordinates the annual event.
Tina Turley and the Loose Boots will be just one of 13 musical acts this year. A lineup of great music has always been one of the best aspects of the HOOT, as great tunes can always bring great people together.
“Being our tenth year, more and more people have taken an interest,” explains Turley, adding that she’s continued to receive a lot of feedback on the event. “Everyone goes home happy and can’t wait until next year. And what better way to raise some money for a local cause.”
Turley decided to organize the event to give a little something back to the community. The first few HOOT events directed proceeds to Muskoka Youth and Family Services. Two years ago, The Table Soup Kitchen became the recipient of HOOT funds, and last year $5,200 was raised. The year before that $4,400 was raised, a sure sign it keeps getting better and better.
Turley knows how important certain non-profit organizations are and donating proceeds from the HOOT gives her peace of mind that the funds are staying in town.
Originally, the HOOT was held at the Huntsville Fairgrounds, but has since changed its location and is now held at the Stisted Fairgrounds.
(Clockwise from above left) Tina, right, and Jeanine Spring, president of the Agricultural Society at last year’s HOOT which takes place at the Stisted Fairgrounds, the perfect country venue; people of all ages gather at the HOOT year after year and special friendships are made; great music brings good people together at the annual charity event.
Last year, over the course of the day, almost 1,000 people visited the fairgrounds for the HOOT. The event always sees a mix of people, young and old. It has continued to grow year after year, attracting people from all over Ontario. What’s so inspiring to Turley is seeing how friendships have been made between people who never knew each other prior to the HOOT.
The first event we held was sort of a test. And then more and more people started hearing about it. People have actually met each other from the HOOT. Even if it’s only once a year, people are coming together. A bond happens. And that’s the coolest thing for me…knowing people have met who didn’t know each other in the first place. They take a piece of the HOOT with them. It’s an event for the whole family.
Turley says she’s not the only one working to make the event a big success. There’s a slew of over 20 dedicated volunteers who put forth a great deal of time and effort because they know how important (not to mention fun) the event is.
This year, the Stisted Agricultural Society will benefit from HOOT funds.
“The Stisted Agricultural Society’s board of directors can’t get insurance on the building so we’re hoping that the funds raised can assist with that,” said Turley. “They can’t utilize the building until certain things are fixed. The place is beautiful. In the past, weddings and family reunions have been held there and even some music festivals. The acoustics in the building are great. And it’s just a beautiful spot, too.”
The HOOT will be held at the Stisted Fairgrounds on June 18. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Another awesome aspect of it is that admission is by donation.
“We wanted a free will admission at the gate so everyone can afford to come,” said Turley. “We have people coming out from all walks of life. We want to give everyone a chance to be able to come.”
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