by Terry Rogers
G&R Campground on Gun and Rod Club Road was filled with people who braved the weather to celebrate the 40th Annual June Jam. Concerts kicked off at noon, starting with the National Anthem followed by Kategory 5 who entertained the crowd with 70s and 80s music.
“Another June Jam in the books!,” Lynn Fowler, Vice-President of June Jam, said. “From everyone on staff at June Jam, thank you! In spite of the rain and mud, we had a great day and the bands were outstanding!”
Bands throughout the day included Hyde Park Reunion, Shades of August, Triple Rail Turn, Lower Case blues with Jonny Neel, Tommy Conwell, Furious George Reunion and Brickyard Road. A heavy downpour around 5 PM forced several of the bands inside to perform their sets. Fowler said that although many people left due to the heavy rain, quite a few people braved the wind and rain to hear the last four or five bands.
Over the past 40 years, June Jam has worked to bring some of the best entertainment to the area while helping the less fortunate. Proceeds from the event go to support Toys for Tots, Friends of Delaware Veterans and Frets for Vets, an organization that provides guitars to veterans with PTSD.
June Jam began out of tragedy in 1978 when three friends who were working on a Magnolia roof came into contact with an electric wire. Richard Vogl died of his injuries while Stanley Palmer and Randy Miller were severely injured. Their injuries left their families in severe financial hardship as none of the men had health insurance. Classmates of the Class of 1973 decided to turn their fifth year class reunion into a benefit for the two survivors and the Vogl family. Local bands donated their talents and t-shirts were printed for sale. The first June Jam was held at the Camden-Wyoming Fire Hall in 1979.
Over the years, nationally recognized bands have played at June Jam, including .38 Special, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet and more. This year’s lineup consisted of bands who had already graced the June Jam stage, although some had new names and others reunited just for the charity event. T-shirts from all the previous June Jams hung in the trees, allowing attendees to take a stroll through memory lane.
Although the staff is taking a much-needed break to rest, they will soon begin putting together plans for the 41st Annual June Jam. Anyone who would like to volunteer for June Jam can reach out through their Facebook page or their website www.junejam.com.
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