Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

July 25, 2013

Buckets and Boots benefits from great turnout

Largest audience yet in concert’s three-year history


Mineral Wells Index

— By CLINT FOSTER



The Buckets and Boots Foundation benefitted from one of its largest turnouts at its annual charity concert, held July 13 on a ranch west of Graford, where just under 5,000 were in attendance to see the likes of Pat Green, Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, Tracy Lawrence and other popular Texas Country artists.

The foundation formed and initiated a fundraiser concert in 2011, during perhaps the worst wildfire season in Palo Pinto County’s recorded history, to raise moneys to support the county’s volunteer fire departments, as well as local emergency and law-enforcement entities.

Buckets and Boots President Lance Byrd said this year’s concert, after expenses, will net around $150,000.

“I felt like it was a great event,” he said. “The crowd was great. The community really got behind it and supported it. I’d like to look at ways next year to increase what we got out of it for the fire departments. But I’m really pleased this year, because we had a great turnout.”

Byrd credits the quality of the performers and the low $25 ticket price for the large crowd.

He said his organization is trying to determine the best route for ticket prices that will still encourage attendance, while maximizing earnings for fire relief. He said he wants the tickets to be affordable in order to keep the local community involved.

“I really liked the fact that the whole community was involved,” he said.

“It wasn’t just a bunch of wealthy folks from Dallas-Fort Worth. It was the whole community and everyone who has interest and is involved [in the area].”

Byrd said the majority of earnings will go directly to local fire departments and wildfire relief, with a smaller percentage allocated for relief in West, Texas. But, he said the exact numbers have not yet been finalized.

Byrd also wants to replenish an “emergency reserve fund” that the foundation once used as a source of immediate relief for VFDs working wildfires.

“We were able to just go out there and rent bulldozers and get money to them, immediately, when these big fires broke out,” he explained. “So, I’d really like to look at building that back up. When these big fires break out, that money can really come in handy to get it under control quickly, rather than wait for the state to give resources.”

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