We are pleased to announce our 2015 recipient for the David Wilson “Pass The Gift” Fundraiser!

Get to know a little bit about this year’s David Wilson Rollin’ and Rockin’ “Pass the Gift” Fundraiser recipient, Danita Hamrick. More stories about Danita, her family, David, and his family will be shared weekly. Please check in each week for more. Get to know these funny, smart, talented, creative, and loving families.

 Danita Hamrick is a daughter, wife, mother, educator, friend, a Multiple Sclerosis navigator, and so much more. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Shelby, NC with her family in 1979. She graduated from Shelby High School and Gardner-Webb University with a BS in Early Childhood Education. She later received a MA in School Administration from UNCC. She accomplished her educational goals while marrying her husband, Scott and becoming a mother to her son, Dayne and her daughter, Laura Beth. She would take one class a week for five years to finish her MA. She spent most of her career at Washington Elementary as a teacher and then as an Assistant Principal.

 In 1999 during the last day of school before the Christmas break, she had a sore throat, was extremely fatigued, and couldn’t make her mind work with simple tasks. She attributed it to being worn down from the school year and preparing for Christmas. Her daughter was ill with a sore throat as well and she made a doctor’s appointment for them both. They both had an infection in their throats, but her primary doctor believed hers to have a connection to something neurological. She was referred to a specialist. She visited the neurologist on Monday, had a MRI on Wednesday, and was called to the office that afternoon. The date was December 23rd.

 The neurologist explained there were three possibilities: an infection around her heart, a brain infection, or multiple sclerosis with a very large lesion. She was told she could not return to work after the break and started treatment right away. This began her path as a MS navigator.


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Letter From David Wilson as read By Gracie Wilson

Welcome to the 5th Annual David Wilson Rollin’ & Rockin’ “Pass the Gift” Fundraiser. We are here to celebrate and enjoy family, friends, food, and fantastic music. Thanks to each and every one of you for making this a successful event for 5 years now.


I was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2008. My body and quality of life have continually devolved into almost complete motor paralysis, a condition known as locked-in syndrome. My brain and senses remain unaffected but all of my voluntary muscle movements die. My only means of communication are with my eyes, and as scary as it is for you all, now my brain. The eye gaze software and the new BCI are not covered by insurance and the monies raised from this event help to cover the continual out of pocket medical expenses. This means so much to me since this is my only means of communication.


This year has been a special year in the media, and especially social media, for ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge has made a significant difference in our world. I am very happy that more people know about ALS and its devastating affects on the body. Before this challenge, most people did not know of this disease unless they knew someone personally who was affected by it. Or, no one wanted to talk about it because of how it affects the body and yet not the mind. The awareness is amazing and the funds raised phenomenal. My hope is that this disease will be stopped in its tracks and paralyzed. Thank you to all who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge in my honor and for those who participated in the Uptown Shelby Bucket Wave Challenge. I am truly blessed by your thoughts of me and my family. The social media attention has been incredible for me to watch. Facebook is my main connection to the outside world and I enjoy watching people stand up to ALS on my behalf, and of course, to laugh at you all for looking so pretty when doused with freezing cold water and your reactions to it.


Deciding to share the proceeds, or passing the gift, is my way of giving back and sharing my belief that being sick does not excuse us from participating in humanity. Losing the ability to walk, speak, or function without pain or weakness makes my world smaller. When a friend offers a hand, that world begins to expand, and when a lot of friends reach out, the world opens wide. The miracle is that by giving, we receive, and what better way than a big ole party with lots of fun and great music.


Since this is the 5th year, I would like to recognize those who have been beneficiaries of this event. Alan Biggerstaff, Hannah Conley, Tanner Deaton, Dana Hare, Gail Langston, Ashley McIntyre, Roger Padgett, and Bethany Preston’s family. This year we add Brian Dukes to the list. Last year we created the 1st Annual Alan Biggerstaff Local Musician Award. The recipients of this award also receive monies from this fundraiser. Last year we honored Art Mauney. This year we will honor Eddie Javan Cook. Eddie is a local guitarist and you will often finding him playing at Ni Fen Bistro. Eddie suffers from seizures and yet he still plays his beautiful music as often as he can.


The band Ponder has played every year at this event. Unfortunately, they will not be able to play this year as Tommy Adeimy, the guitarist has been in the hospital and had a cancerous mass removed. We are thinking of him, his family, and the band and sending prayers.


Because my world is limited, I needed help in choosing a recipient for this year’s event. I used Facebook to put out a call for nominations. In mid-March, my inbox exploded. The community overwhelmingly picked the Dukes family. Brian, Violet, and Scarlett Dukes to be exact. I began learning of Brian’s story of living with Gullian-Barre. Brian experienced in a matter of days what I experienced in a matter of years. He lost all motor function, was hooked to a ventilator, and was paralyzed. It was a new experience for me because he understood what I have experienced. The difference being that Brian can, and will, recover from this disease. The Dukes family visited with my family. We shared our experiences and it was interesting how similar they were. Who else could understand the concern of not being able to close your own eyelids?


I had a God given moment during our visit. I was able to have Scarlett held close to me. She is a very cute and very good baby. I was smitten with her. And as only a child could, she was not afraid of me or my ventilator. It was refreshing. Adults can sometimes be intimidated by what they see. It also brought back memories of my own girls when they were little…and sweet…boy was that a long time ago.


My communication is still hard. I use an eye gaze software and when it works, it works well. Sometimes it gets stuck and I spend lots of time recalibrating in order for the program to work with my eye movements. I have started with a new form of communicating called BCI, or Brain Computer Interface. BCI uses a computer and the EEG signals, or brain waves, recorded from the scalp to allow communication that does not depend on voluntary muscle control. Electrodes are connected to the scalp and behind the ears. The scalp electrodes are embedded in an electrode cap, which fits like a swim cap. An electrolyte solution is placed in the electrode which allows the electrical signals from the scalp to flow to each electrode. I am then presented with a sequence of visual stimuli and the task is to focus on them. I would like to share that to many of you and your dismay, at no time do I receive any type of electrical current, so don’t get any bright ideas. I would love to show you how it works sometime and my opening, and most frightening line for you is, “Welcome to my brain.” Oh, and I can also still tell my girls to “hush!” Haha!


I would like to thank everyone involved in this event: my family, my friends, the sponsors of all levels, the golfers and teams, those who made donations for the silent and live auction, the Cleveland Country Club, those who bought raffle tickets, and those of you here tonight. Now raise a glass, let’s say cheers, and let’s enjoy the fun. I am a grateful man and I hope you will continue to Pass the Gift.



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Golfers  Check In      11:00 AM – Noon 

Golfers Lunch   Noon – 1:00 PM

TEE OFF    1:00 PM 

Golfers On The Course  1:00 PM – 5:30 PM



JAVAN COOK  & GEEZER    5:00 PM Until 8:00 PM

CADENCE 9:00 PM Until Midnight 


Silent Auction 5:00 Until 8:30

Silent Auction Check Out 8:30 PM  

Live Auction 8:30 PM 


Golf Winners – Awards – Raffle Ticket Winners 8:00


CADENCE BAND  9:00 PM Until 

Without your support this event would not be possible.

Thank you for caring and remember to “Pass The Gift”!

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2

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Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 04:22 PM.

More than a dozen artists and groups – most of them local – will be featured in the 12th Annual Art of Sound Sept. 18-20.

Not your typical music festival, The Art of Sound, which is sponsored by the Cleveland County Arts Council, is more like a weekend concert series. This year the festival’s emphasis is on “Listen Local” borrowing from the merchants’ “Shop Local” theme.

“This is a chance to support the local groups and the Arts Council,” said Shearra Miller, Arts Council President. “We want people to recognize some of the talent that we have in the area. And we have a few out-of-town groups this year to give people something new to listen to.”

Most of the performances will be held inside at the Arts Center, 111 S. Washington St., and the Don Gibson Theatre, 318 S. Washington St., Shelby.

Thursday’s kickoff:

The festival begins Thursday evening at the Arts Center with a walk down memory lane.  The Frank Love Orchestra is an Art of Sound tradition playing hits from the big band era featuring classics from composers such as Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Tickets for this performance include heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by NiFen Bistro and an open dance floor.

Friday begins with Heritage Bridge Award

Friday night the celebration begins at 6:30 p.m., as the 2014 Heritage Bridge Award will be presented to David E. Wilson. This award is given to recognize those who, over a career or a life-time, have contributed extraordinarily to the musical fabric of our county and our area.

Wilson will be honored for his contributions to the local music community as well as for his perseverance and commitment to supporting and creating music. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2008, Wilson has remained active in the music community and successfully written and recorded his own original music with the assistance of the latest technology. A life-long music aficionado and a Rock-N-Roller at heart, Wilson’s passion for music is evident to all who know and love him.

Described by his friends and fellow musicians as “kind, talented and humble,” Wilson is known for his great sense of humor and giving spirit. In the last five years, Wilson and his hard-working friends and family have touched hundreds of lives through an annual fundraiser called “Pass the Gift.” The event raises money each year for Wilson and other families affected by a devastating illness. This year’s event is Sept. 13 and Wilson will share proceeds with Violet and Brian Dukes. Earlier this year after the birth of their first child, Brian was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It’s a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its nerves. And it has no cure.

Friday’s musical groups

After the presentation, the music begins as local group, The Fat Sparrows, take the stage. The Fat Sparrows are: Brandon Garlock (vocals, guitar), Bill Ewing (bass), Eric Kimbrell (drums, vocals), and Donnie Deaton (lead guitar) who like to play all-original folk rock/alternative music.

Next up on Friday will be The Old Ceremony. With nine years of touring the United States, Canada and Europe and six albums under their belt, the Durham-Chapel Hill band has built a large and loyal following.

New this year will be the Musical Stroll on Friday night. In an effort to not only support local musicians, the Arts Council encourages folks to dine at one of the eating establishments in uptown Shelby.

“We are encouraging people to eat and drink local while they are listening to local music,” Miller said. “And the restaurants are offering discounts to people who purchase a Full Festival Pass.”

Several restaurants will feature local musicians as part of the Art of Sound. Newt’s Pub Burgers will have its open mic night; Al Dunkleman will be playing at Lily Bean Micro-roasted Coffee; Hayne Coleman will perform at Dragonfly Wine Market; Eddie Cook will be playing guitar at Ni Fen Bistro; and The Paris Thieves will finish out the night at Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille.

Saturday’s lineup features ‘Star Stage’

Saturday morning the Arts Center will open with the sounds of student choirs and bands.  These free performances will showcase talented younger musicians. Also this year, in conjunction with the Shelby Star’s 120th Anniversary Celebration, the student choirs will perform on the “Star Stage” outside The Star offices, 315 E. Graham St., Shelby.

The musical fun continues Saturday with the return of the drum circle facilitated by Justin Harper and held on the courthouse lawn. It is open to anyone with some kind of hand drum or any kind of percussion instrument. Children and adults are invited to join in the fun at 4 p.m. on the courtsquare across from the Arts Council.

After the Drum Circle, cross Washington Street to the Arts Council and listen to the sounds of Lilly Tallent – a dash of Appalachian hippie and a splash of West Lincoln Rebel rounded out by an independent cowgirl free spirit. Tallent carries with her an unbridled empathy everywhere she goes and for everyone she meets.

The Sloantones, a progressive Bluegrass Mountain Rock band, will perform next. The group consists of Jonathan Sloan, Steven Poteat, Trent Hoyle, Kevin Newton and Randy Saxon.

Next up is The Isaac Haze, a free form funk-jam group at its finest. Their soul stirring improvisational takes on classics and “get loose grooves.” Haze is made up of Rush Padgett, Madison Strickland, Adam Anthony, Mack Curtiss and Todd Yelton.

Also performing will be Radio Zero, a group that incorporates a mixture of rock and hard hitting rhythms full of high energy. This group of local musicians features James Gould, Allen Keever, Casey Hyder and powerhouse vocalist Cody Jones.

Finishing up the night at the Arts Council is Dirty Grass Soul, formed in late 2011, when front man Kevin Dedmon and Nick Patterson decided to turn their classic campfire jam sessions into a full on band. With the addition of Lance Watson and Drew Stallings to the group, the various musical styles each artist brought to the table meshed instantly.

Saturday night at the Don Gibson Theatre features Marc Brussard, an American singer-songwriter. His style is best described as “Bayou Soul,” a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop, matched with distinct Southern roots. In his career, he has released five studio albums, one live album, three EPs, and has charted twice on Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks. Joining Brussard will be Mingo Fishtrap, a funk sound with horn fueled Motown pop and Andy Suzuki, an independent NYC-based band.

Want to go?

Tickets for the Art of Sound are:

Thursday night – $10 (includes heavy hors d’oeuvres)

Friday night – $10

Saturday – $15

Full Festival Pass – $30 – includes admission to all performances at the Arts Center and the Don Gibson Theatre and special discounts at local restaurants.

For more information and a full description of each performer, visitwww.artofsoundcc.com or call 704-484-2787. Tickets are available online or by phone.

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Two Weeks Notice!

In less than two weeks, the 5th Annual David Wilson Pass The Gift Fundraiser will take place. We are all very excited to be able make this event possible.  Did you know that 100% of all donations stay within our organization?  The event is hosted by an all volunteer staff of family, friends, and members of the community just like you. We are in need of volunteers to help us with the event. If you are able to help for a couple of hours, please sign up on the Facebook page.  Have something you would like to donate for our Auctions?  Email Sandy Champion today at Sandy@sandychampion.com.  For cash or credit card donations, follow the link on the page. All transactions are secure and confidential.

One other big event we are having is on Saturday September 6th as 11:00.  We will be hosting an Ice Bucket Challenge on the court square downtown Shelby.  This will surely be a fun event that you do not want to miss.

Show up early and get ready for the best Ice Bucket Challenge yet.


Our address for checks, cards, and letters!


Mail any cash/check donations to:
David Wilson  Fundraiser
c/o Chuck & Amy Hamilton
PO Box 703
Shelby, NC 28151

In order to make a non-monetary donation to the Pass the Gift fundraiser email Sandy Champion at sandy@sandychampion.com.


Be sure to purchase your raffle tickets and coffee tumblers. Below are links to explain the details.




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We are excited to announce that the Broad River European Motor Club is a platinum sponsor for the 2013 David Wilson Rollin’ & Rockin’ “Pass the Gift” Fundraiser. We would like to thank the club for their generous donation to our fundraiser.

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Platinum Sponsor 2014: Cleveland County Association of Realtors


We would like to thank our friends from the Cleveland County Association of Realtors for their support as a platinum sponsor for the 2013 David Wilson Rollin’ & Rockin’ “Pass the Gift” Fundraiser!

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