GEORGETOWN — One of the busiest spots in Ripley played host on Saturday, Aug. 29 to an all-day concert that raised $7,500 to support victim’s of last month’s deadly floods.
Hundreds attended the Ripley Flood Relief Concert, which began at 12 p.m. and went through 10 p.m. and later, finishing up at Snappers Saloon.
Bands that played at the event included Taylor Shannon, Black Mountain Throwdown, the Badfeather band, the Kevin McCoy Band, Big Easy and the Gators Featuring the Unfinished Business Band, and Kornpuddin.
“I think it went well,” event organizer Ron Fletcher said. “We ended up making $7,500, in addition to what Citizen’s Deposit Bank had in their relief fund. A lot of people came out and it was a decent day.”
The concert was organized quickly after Fletcher and co-organizer Eric Penn were performing at Swampfest at Snappers on July 18, when a pair of storm cells converged over Brown County for more than an hour and a half, dumping more than four inches of water in that span.
That amount of rain in a short span eventually led to severe flooding in both Georgetown and Ripley, and three people were killed due to the floods, in addition to more than 40 properties damaged.
“The night the flood came through, that’s when we were playing,” Fletcher said. “We all went home and we thought it was over. We just thought it was just a bad, bad storm. We woke up in the morning and turned on the TV and saw what had happened. We instantly contacted one another and went forward.”
The event was buoyed by the organization Harleys Against Heroin, which is a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who put on charity rides to raise money to help fight the harmful heroin addiction problem in Southwest Ohio. Waves of bikers rode down to Ripley and took some time out to enjoy the music and donate to the concert fund.
Harleys against Heroin also sold T-shirts to concert-goers, with half of the proceeds going to the relief fund. Harleys against Heroin raised $310 for the relief concert.
“Bikers just have big hearts,” Nikki Patton of Harleys against Heroin said. “They love to help out. They have no problem digging in their pocket to help people out. They look intimidating but they’re not.”
Advocare, which set up a booth featuring weight loss cream raised $150 for the relief fund, the pie and bake auction raised $407, and a donation box set up by Layla Fletcher, Ron’s wife, raised more than $1,000, all according to Ron Fletcher.
Tony Barrios, who lost his fiance Victoria Kennard, as well as his son Gabriel and daughter Rose in the fatal floods, was very thankful for the outpouring of support from the local and regional community.
“I want to say thank you to everybody for the support and the help we from them,” said Barrios, who wore a Harleys against Heroin shirt at the concert along with dark sunglasses. “Everybody helped from everywhere, Kentucky, Ohio different states. Everywhere.”
Barrios mentioned that this week he and his family could be moving into a new home.
After counting up all the money, Fletcher said, the event organizers worked with Citizens Deposit Bank to determine which families would receive funding. The event organizers split their proceeds nine ways, while Citizens Deposit Bank picked another nine families to help.
Each of the families received around $800 to help fill some of their unmet needs.
“It made us feel very good,” Ron Fletcher said, noting that about 80 percent of the organizers and volunteers were in tears at one point during the event. “Especially with Tony, it was a heart-breaker what happened to him. To be able to give him something and show him that we cared, was great.”