Hoedown for Education raises estimated $20K

— The second annual Hoedown for Education saw nearly 200 people at Carousel Barn dressed in their best country gear, enjoying barbecued chicken and ribs and dancing the night away to live music — and raising an expected $20,000 for the Skaneateles Education Foundation.

The hoedown, sponsored by the SEF and held last Saturday night, Oct. 6, is one of the year’s biggest fundraisers to support local education. The mission of the foundation is to raise funds to help support academics in the Skaneateles schools by contributing to curriculum development and enhancement of resources. In the past three years, the foundation has contributed more than $50,000 to the Skaneateles district.

“We’re so excited for the outcome tonight,” said SEF incoming President Chris Bailey. “People have come out in busloads and really embraced the event.”

SEF Executive Director Sharon Magee agreed, and added that if it was not a holiday weekend, the event would have had at least 50 more people. “We’re thrilled with the turnout,” she said.

Saturday’s hoedown featured four hours of live music by the Mere Mortals, catering by the Sherwood Inn, middle school seasonal artwork adoring the walls, a horseshoe pit and even a photo booth with wacky country costumes available to wear. The photo booth gave pictures to the attendants and printed duplicates for the SEF, which plans to create a photo album of the night.

The event was held in Carousel Barn on County Line Road, owned by Marty and Amanda Cregg.

Co-chairs for the event were Cate Davis and Pam Pidhirny, and the honorary chairs were Amy and Dave Allyn.

“We were a little shy at first” about being honorary chairs, Amy Allyn said, but considering she is an educator and they have four children in the school district, “we put our arms it and thought it was a great thing to do.”

“And next year hopefully 300 [people].” added Dave Allyn, who also plays guitar in the Mere Mortals.

Last year’s Hoedown for Education was held at Mandana Barn, had about 150 attendees and raised $12,000. Everything about this year’s event increased since last year: a bigger barn, nearly 200 attendees, an expected $20,000 raised and three times as many sponsors as last year.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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