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Shortly before noon on March 14, country music legend Ricky Skaggs rolled up to Daily Bread restaurant in a two-toned Maybach with California license plates. Dressed in all black, Skaggs hopped out of the luxury car and strolled into the Jonesborough restaurant alongside his wife, Sharon White, and her father, Buck White.
The trio chatted for several minutes with guests as they filed in for a fund raising luncheon to benefit the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association and its food bank.
Hosted by TruLight Foundation, the organization of Daily Bread owners George and Denise Shinn, last week’s fundraiser offered community members a chance to enjoy a meal and some big name entertainment in an intimate setting.
“We wanted to do something to raise some funds for a worthwhile group in the community,” George Shinn said. “We love this community and we want to help this community.”
JAMA President Allen Huff said the money raised through last week’s event will go a long way in feeding the hungry in Washington County.
“(JAMA) began as a food pantry in the basement of the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church,” Huff said. “Now we have a place out at Persimmon Ridge (Park) where, every Thursday, people can come.”
JAMA provides food for approximately 130 families each month, Huff said.
According to Chris Smith, of the TruLight Foundation, approximately 70 people attended last week’s fundraiser. After covering expenses, Smith said the organization will donate an estimated $4,500 to JAMA.
“For a one-hour event that we threw together at the last minute, that’s pretty good,” Smith noted.
At $75 per person, the hour-long event included lunch and a performance by Skaggs as well as Buck and Sharon White, who make up two-thirds of the gospel group, The Whites.
After a few minutes of picking by Buck White, Skaggs took to the microphone, saying he never gets tired of hearing his father-in-law play.
Skaggs then went into his own performance, a raw rendition of his hit, A Simple Life. During the song, Skaggs cleared his throat once or twice, prompting him to later explain he had been in Germany a week or two ago and managed to catch a cold while there.
Sharon White hopped on the mic next to perform the Carter Family song, Keep on the Sunny Side.
“It’s a song of hope,” she said. “And I think the world could sure use a lot more hope.”
Following the performances, Skaggs and the Whites met with the crowd, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
For Blountville resident Dorinda Coates, the experience was a dream come true.
“I have liked (Skaggs) forever,” Coates said as she admired her newly autographed Skaggs memorabilia. “This was awesome. We was right there, touching him.”
Skaggs will return to Jonesborough at the end of June with his band, Kentucky Thunder, to headline the Jonesborough Days & Nights Festival. He will perform Saturday, June 30, at 8 p.m. The Whites will also be back in town, performing Sunday, July 1 to wrap up the festival.