By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Bryan Moose Lodge was jumping March 12 as the 4th annual Davey Farrell Memorial Benefit was in full swing.
The crowd was overflowing as people came out to hang out with friends and listen to live music. The mood was festive as everyone was gathered to raise money for a good cause and to remember the memory of Farrell.
Farrell was a regional bass player who played with bands in Williams County, Michigan and Chicago, event organizer Terry McDaniel said. He got cancer in 2006 and his friends decided to hold a benefit for him.
“He was just a great guy,” McDaniel said. “He was one of our best friends.”
Farrell fought his cancer for four years before passing away in 2012. The first benefit was a success and raised a lot of money for Farrell. A couple of years later a second benefit was held for Farrell and at the end of that event, which was close to the end of his life, he asked his friends to make the benefit an annual event.
Farrell wrote his friends a letter praising them for the benefit and urging them to continue and support other local groups, McDaniel said. He died shortly thereafter.
“We decided we were going to go ahead and do that,” McDaniel said. “The four of us formed a nonprofit organization in his name, The Davey Farrell Memorial Project.
This is our fourth year now.”
The event typically raises between $7,000 and $8,000 each year. Previous beneficiaries have included Hospice of Williams County, Sarah’s House and Cancer Assistance of Williams County.
Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Four County Career Center Endowment Fund. The fund helps people pay fees to attend classes. More than 1,000 high school students participate in 30 programs and 2,000 adults take classes as well.
The Center gives out two scholarships: one for a college-bound student and one who is heading directly into the workforce.
“That’s the cool part,” McDaniel said.
The main fundraising comes through tickets, T-shirts, a 50/50 drawing and food and bake sale. This year the event featured discounted tickets earlier in the day to get a larger crowd and the event was advertised in Fulton Henry and Defiance counties as well, McDaniel said.
The event featured nine live local bands including John Reichle and his acoustic warriors, The Joe Vasques Band, Dangerous Cliff, Ratnip, The Holbrook Brothers, Earl P & The Family Tree, The Dave Liles Band, Hot Mess and Magnum Reunion.
James Pruitt may be reached at