People who attend MerleFest are aware of the quality and diversity of the entertainment offered, but many would be surprised to know the economic impact the festival makes on non-profit civic and service organizations in Northwest North Carolina. In our newsletter, we would like to focus on some of those groups and tell about the good works that result from their hard work and dedication at MerleFest.
Since 2003 Steel Magnolias, a Wilkes County Relay for Life team, has played a major role in MerleFest. From 2003-2006 they were responsible for Flattop's One Stop (now MerleFest's Convenience Store) and in 2007 and 2008 have provided workers each day in the MerleFest Gift Shop. The members of Steel Magnolias welcome the opportunity to make sure their customers, who come from all over the world, feel welcomed and appreciated and hope they will take home memories of warm hospitality.
This hospitable attitude is just the beginning of the Steel Magnolias' contributions to our area. One hundred percent of the money the team makes working at the festival is given to the American Cancer Society. Members Sandy Day and Annette Battle speak for the team in saying, "Our team members benefit from our involvement with MerleFest because we feel that we have all been touched by cancer in our community, our families, our churches, and our lives. This is one way that we can help with research programs, research grants, and advocacy."
The Steel Magnolias participation in MerleFest benefits the community by raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society. In addition, they serve as a support group for people with cancer and their families as well as for survivors of cancer. MerleFest thanks the Steel Magnolias for their great contribution to the festival and for their valiant effort in the fight against cancer.