Freddy and Francine, Sway Wild, Jackstraw and Kevin Burgess Project rocked the farm, owned by Whitney and Rob Heros, this past Saturday, Aug. 24. Attendance from the first year increased by about 70%, the organizers said, with close to 300 attendees.
After raising $10,000 for various non-profit organizations last year, the Heros decided to donate the proceeds from this year's concert to Merry Heart Children's Camp, Healthy Women Healthy World, Returning Veterans Project and Oregon Wild.
Merry Heart Children's Camp offers children born with congenital heart disease in Oregon, Washington and Idaho the opportunity to attend a fun summer camp where pediatric cardiologists and cardiac nurses are on site at all times.
Healthy Women Healthy World provides medical care, along with empowerment and advocacy to women in need across the world.
Returning Veterans is a Portland-based group that helps connect veterans and their families to free and confidential mental and physical health services, while Oregon Wild advocates for environmentally-conscious legislation.
"We thought it really important to have a range of charities so that people could come and donate to a cause that they personally feel passionate about, not necessarily what we feel passionate about," Whitney Heros told the Tidings in an email. "So, we have four different categories that we choose from 1) Environmental 2) Medical/health 3) World/humanitarian 4) Veterans." Ticket-holders were free to give their admittance donation to any of the four charities -- or divide it how they wished.
More than $14,000 was raised this year.
Whitney Heros said she and Rob have always wanted to have a concert in their backyard, and one day last year decided to go for it, at the same time deciding to make the concert a charity event.
"While we mostly paid out of pocket to put in the event last year, we've since become a nonprofit called Concerts for Causes," Whitney said. "Now being a 501c3, we've been able to gain sponsorships from local businesses and individuals to help put this on."
One of the acts, Sway Wild, is close with the Heros and helped them with getting in touch with other musicians, Whitney said.
"The bands do not donate their time so there is of course some limitations on who we are able to afford but the level of talent we've already gotten is pretty exciting so we are excited about future years," she said.
The Heros hope to continue Farmathon for years to come, while also adding smaller concerts throughout the year, utilizing the large shop on their property for winter months.
We can't be more pleased with how the event turned out," Whitney said. " For only our second year of doing this, we were excited to see how smoothly everything went. It's going to be a learning opportunity every year to tweak little details and try to make things the best they can be. We are so touched by the generosity of our community and look forward to planning Farmathon 2020!"
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