By: Joshua Sampson, Staff Writer
A hot country music act is coming to Boyne City High School’s Performing Arts Center to raise money for the Boyne City volunteer Fire Department.[private]
The 27th annual event will host two familiar names in music, Juice Newton and Burns and Poe, on Saturday, Sept. 24.
“Nobody gets paid, and it goes to the equipment fund,” said Oral Sutliff, chairman and secretary of treasure for the Boyne City Fire Department. “We’ve bought two grass fire trucks. It cost $5,000 20 years ago and this past (truck) was $20,000.”
The Performing Arts Center recently became accessible for the volunteer fire department to use but Sutliff can remember a time when the event was hosted in the Boyne City high school gymnasium. Back then volunteers had to haul folding chairs from the elementary school to the high school. “We’d get a flatbed truck and bring them over and put up a portable stage,” Sutliff said. “Those are hard to get up and we’d get slivers and banged up fingers. I don’t miss that.”
Over 27 years the volunteer fire department has raised close to $100,000 for equipment and supplies to help fight fires in Boyne City. Sutliff said by coming to this event people would be doing so much more than just watching a great show.
“You are supporting your local firemen,” he said. “We’d be getting better protection and better equipment for the firefighters.” Twenty year veteran promoter Jerry Petty, jr., said the Country Music Spectacular is specifically intended to benefit Boyne City firefighters.
He said the event has allowed many improvements to the department over the years. “It gets a lot of community involvement and it really brings support to the firefighters,” Petty said. “I think it gives a positive outlook and builds a bridge for the community and the firefighters.” Tickets to the show are $24 and can be bought in advance at the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce.
“If people come out they will see a great show,” Petty said. “We hardly ever have anything like that in Boyne City and I think it’s a great thing.”[/private]