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Celebrate Wayne and Conquer SADS

Smith’s Olde Bar Atlanta, Georgia

The evening at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta began with many friends reuniting and anxious bidders meeting in the upstairs room. Record attendance this year and the house was packed.

Along one wall every light available shined bright so you could inspect many rare and one of a kind donations available for silent auction with proceeds going to the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation.

There were eBay auctions and a live streaming broadcast for the many folks that could not or did not get tickets to this sold out event could still be a part of this big night. 30 of 35 eBay items sold for $7500. 120 on site auctions. Fundraising was up about 60% over previous year with a total of $16,355. 420 likes on the Facebook page translated into a reach of 5300 people. There is also a Climb to Conquer SADS event which features Wayne’s friends Mark Prosser and Brian Hoots climbing a remote peak in Montana this year, after 2 successful summits of Mt Rainier.

Along with opportunities to own some very unique items, this night was a celebration of the life of Wayne Sawyer, husband, father and friend and to raise awareness for long QT syndrome, the genetic heart condition that claimed his life a few years ago that was also passed on to his daughter.

Lily Sawyer lives with Long QT syndrome

Many people gathered for this yearly celebration and night of music. To get the evening started, Mr. Josh Stack performed with a few songs he wrote as well as a couple popular cover songs.

His voice and presence has made Josh very popular among Wayne’s friends and he warmed to room up for COL. BRUCE HAMPTON and FRIENDS.

Col’s song choice tonight was very comforting for his early show time. And out front was AJ Ghent playing an 8 string steel slide guitar like Robert Randolph and Warren Haynes mixed..

His dominating leads and energy grabbed the attention of all guests looking thru the wall of auction items and enjoying the music. As a bunch of auctions ended and a shot of SADS awareness from Wayne’s family and his child’s doctor, the second act came to the stage…

BLOODKIN with Danny Hutchins and Eric Carter out front with William Tonks filling in fun sounds from his resonator guitar.

The energy in this small room was high and BLOODKIN was clearly enjoying this celebration with the crowd. The dance floor was packed full and smiles were abundant. A great celebration remembering a friend and raising awareness and money for a deadly illness was filled with excitement and anticipation as some heartfelt donations were closing with the final bidding call.

Items that brought heavy excitement amongst the bidders ranged from autographed posters, photographs, personal memorabilia and other forms of handcrafted art. There was even a donation from NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS, the band making videos in a van called the Van Sessions that have gone viral recently to add a personal choice recording for the highest bidder. With the auctions winding down, the energy in the room was not! The closing act was JERRY JOSEPH AND THE JACKMORMONS.

They took the stage and kept us dancing for 2 sets of awesome music and dancing all for a good cause. Full of good tunes and hard rocking beats, many friends were treated to an evening full of intimate music, sharing things big and small. Life and death. And it brought many people together to show love and support to a family whose life changed drastically one night. Excitement was high as this fun night of came to a close. This annual event carries with it tons of emotions for most. Inside this tight knit community woven of friends and fans of Georgia’s own Widespread Panic, this affair offers many an opportunity to show, express and support each other and remember a friend. The success of the night shows in our eyes as friends far and near came together again with a grand show of love and an evening remembering the good times and good people.

SADS foundation- www.sads.org

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