Fender Farms stays open for fundraiser

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The recently formed Luke Story Foundation in partnership with Fender Farms in Jonesborough will hold its “Fright for a Fight” event Saturday.
The foundation was formed shortly after firefighter Luke Story, who has worked with the Jonesborough Fire Department for 17 years, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“Two of my firefighters, Luke Story and his father, Kenneth Story, have both been stricken at the same time will pancreatic cancer, which is highly unusual,” Jonesborough Fire Chief Phil Fritts said. “Luke is only 36 years old. I mean it is tragic for both of them, but Luke is only 36.
“Both of them have tremendous amounts of experience, and so not only is it a tragic situation, it is tragic for our department to lose that much experience at one time.”
The original intent of the foundation was to primarily help Story and his family, but after seeing the hardships families of individuals fighting the disease endure, the founders have decided to expand their helping hand.
“We started as a benefit for Luke,” said Major Natalie Hilton of the Jonesborough Department of Public Safety. “But then, we realized just how much families go through dealing with pancreatic cancer. So, we just wanted to form something to support families, so we have only been in operation for a couple of weeks.”
The foundation hopes to increase its scope to the 10 counties of the East Tennessee area.
“This is not just a Washington County event,” said Fritts. “We have started a foundation, and it is going to be for the eight or ten counties of upper east Tennessee. Including, Carter, Johnson and all the counties.”
For Fritts, the new foundation is something he hopes will grow, and, so far, he feels the organization is doing great.
“We had a very successful event here in Jonesborough a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “We had a motorcycle ride and a concert. And a lot of money was raised. And everybody had a very good time. We had around 300 riders”
In the future, events could be held in Carter County, according to Fritts.
“I’ve already been told by some people in Carter County that they would be willing to host events,” he said.
Nov. 8 will be the first time ever Fender Farms has stayed opened after its season, which runs from Sept. 12 to Nov. 2, has ended. According to Hilton, patrons of the event can expect an assortment of scary activities.
The evening will be headlined by a pumpkin chunking machine, which will blast a pumpkin more than half-a-mile every time $100 is raised.
“They are going to have a pumpkin cannon that has never been in this area before, coming out of Springfield, Tenn.,” Fritts said. “It is really going to be something to see.”
Not only will pumpkins be launched into oblivion, they will also be raced. To enter the race, a person must purchase a $10 pumpkin, and the top 10 winning pumpkins will be entered into a drawing to win a Polaris ATV, which will be provided through a partnership between East Tennessee ATV in Valley Forge and Polaris.
“The way we are going to race the pumpkins is they are going to be dropped off the Taylor bridge,” Hilton said, “and float down the river. And the first ten to the kayaker will be eligible to draw for a prize. We will have gift certificates to various locations. The grand prize is a Polaris 400 ATV, which they must be 18 to win that.”
It is going to be a bad night to be a pumpkin. Not only are pumpkins going to be launched and floated down a river, they will also be smashed Gallagher style with a sledgehammer.
As if it could not get any worse for the orange gourds, they will also be a shotgun shoot, a pumpkin spearing contest and pumpkin bowling.
The corn maze, the zombie paint ball shoot, and all four of Fender’s haunted attractions will also be open during the event.
“Fright for a Fight” will open at 10 a.m. and last all day until 10 p.m. The haunted attractions will start at 6 and 7 p.m.
Tickets for the event will be $10 and will be available at Fender Farms upon arrival. Individuals can also pre-purchase tickets for all the haunted attractions for $20 at the Jonesborough Police Department.
All proceeds gained from the event will be used to help the Story family, and will also go into the Luke Story Foundation.

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