Oconee River Belles Benefit Concert Raises $25,000


By Denise Horton and Carla Francis

Grammy Award-winning banjoist Alison Brown and her band returned to Athens on March 22 for the 2nd Oconee Belles concert. All $25,000 raised at the event directly funds ORLT's mission, thanks to underwriters, the Riverview Foundation. While the concert lasted only a few hours, the money raised supports land conservation year-round,” said Carla Francis, ORLT outreach and development coordinator, noting that the concert also serves as a celebration and gathering place for the region’s arts and environmental communities. Just prior to the concert, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were served in The Foundry’s courtyard, as a “thank you” to the event’s sponsors. Alison Brown made an appearance, where she greeted sponsors and took photos with many of the reception’s attendees. Jason Thrasher, artist and author of Athens Potluck, photographed the event. Local band Cicada Rhythm opened the concert, captivating the audience with homegrown talent, before the Alison Brown Quartet and guests took the stage. Brown is known for leading an ensemble that marries an array of roots-influenced music, including folk, jazz, Celtic and Latin, and is acclaimed as one of today’s finest progressive banjo players. Brown’s musical guests included newlywed duo Sierra Hull and Justin Moses and Grammy-nominated duo Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. “The Oconee River Belles Benefit Concert provides an unparalleled combination of roots music and grassroots fundraising for the rivers, forests and farms that inspire it,” Brown said of her decision to headline the event for a second year. “It’s also a one-of-a-kind opportunity for listeners that brings together performers who care about the land and want to protect it.” The land trust extends its heartfelt appreciation to concertgoers, sponsors, members, volunteers, and others who are working with ORLT to protect greenspace for people and wildlife. Stay tuned for information about the third annual concert, coming in Spring 2019.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Riverview Foundation WATERSHED – Greencone Investments – RIVER – SRS - Southern Resource Strategies – CREEK – Carson Advisory, Inc. Anonymous Todd Emily Dan and Ann Hope – BOG – Southern Land Exchange First Madison Bank and Trust Peachstate Well Walt Cook Sally and Dan Coenen Dick and Susan Field Rob and Barbara Fisher Kathy and Al Parker Jim Goolsby Madeline and Phil Van Dyck – SPRING – Anonymous Larry Dendy Pierre Howard Ken and Joan Jarrett Joiner and Associates Realtors Nat and Helen Kuykendall Clint McNeal Roger and Pat Nielsen Karen and Jim Porter Tredway Shurling Smith Wilson and Dianne Penny

A special thank you: Riverview Foundation, UGA’s Music Business Program (MBUS), Hannah McIntosh (MBUS intern), Tommy Jordan, Troy Aubrey of Foundry Entertainment, Mrs. James Hall, and Stephen Humphreys of Athens Imports.

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