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Mossy Oak festival takes aim at cancer
1119 Mossy Oak
Rholan, Paula and Jesse Clifton show off the pink power at Mossy Oak Music Parks bluegrass festival. - photo by Photo provided

For the last several Octobers among the evergreen pines and red, brown and yellow leaves of oak trees in Guyton, there have also been bright spots of pink. For three years now, “Paint the Park Pink” has been the theme for Mossy Oak Music Park’s October bluegrass festival.

“It’s all about raising breast cancer awareness and helping to find a cure for all cancer. During our October festival we once again raised more than a thousand dollars toward that goal,” said Allen Lanier, whose family owns the award-winning park.

“The great majority of the more than 3,000 bluegrass fans at the festival, along with all our staff, decorated the park and wore pink attire on the Saturday to show their support,” he added.

Donations were also accepted for pink ribbons to be tied on a Rebecca Tree, named for Rebecca Lanier Rose, who succumbed to cancer a year ago and whose dream it was to build the music park.

“For a one-dollar donation we provided pink flags for the nearly 500 campers to place at their camp sites to help us ‘Paint the Park Pink’ this year,” said Doug Lanier, who manages the park.

“There was pink everywhere,” Doug Lanier added. “Even the vendors donated items to our effort, and a 50-50 drawing raised more than $500. The winner, Mike Robinson from Massachusetts, immediately donated his winnings back to the fundraising efforts, and many others also made generous private donations to this worthy cause” he said.

“Paula Clifton, herself a cancer survivor, along with her husband Rholan and son Jesse, deserve much thanks for heading up the 50-50 fundraiser,” he continued. “Roger Koontz, from Batesburg, S.C., brought along a bright pink golf cart for staff use during the event. It was especially refreshing to see so many donate their time, efforts, and money to be part of this effort to help find a cure for cancer.”

Previous festivals have hosted, in addition to the American Cancer Society, the Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Marine Corps League, Shriners, and a number of other worthwhile causes.

This year a new partnership was formed between Mossy Oak Music Park and the Treutlen House. Board chairman Nick Pumfrey and board member Marshall Reiser thought the large venue would be an effective way to tell the inspiring story of the Treutlen House. Treutlen House representatives, among them director Kristen Wert, Nick Springer, and Michael Ray Westphall, himself a Treutlen House success story, manned a booth to provide information about their mission and many accomplishments. They also held a on-site fundraiser, and gave away a number of gifts, courtesy of Island Guitars of Rincon.

“It was one of our largest festivals,” said Allen Lanier, “and there was a great spirit and generous attitude among our guests, who enjoyed some of the finest bluegrass and gospel music we’ve ever presented.”

The first of the 2015 festivals at Mossy Oak Music Park will be April 15-19. Additional information is available at