When Kenzi was born, she had no bones other than a heel bone in her left foot, but that hasn’t stopped her from rocking it out in northeast Ohio and helping others!
Amniotic Band Syndrome, or ABS, is a birth defect. As Dawn, Kenzi’s grandmother, explains, “While in the womb, the baby will shove a part of their body (arm, leg, etc.) through the bands of the placenta. As a result, the limb stops developing.” In Kenzi’s case, she pushed her foot halfway through, causing it to remain undeveloped while the rest of her grew.
From the moment Kenzi arrived in the world, Shriners Hospital for Children in Erie, PA has been there for her and her family. The hospital paid for Kenzi’s parents and grandparents to stay there (with meals) while Kenzi was hospitalized to have her undeveloped foot amputated. Though the hospital is a couple hours away, it helps with transportation whenever she has an appointment, ranging from gas money to providing a driver both ways! Since Kenzi is a growing girl, she needs a new prosthetic leg. For this, Dawn shares that the hospital has “never charged a penny.”
We know what you’re thinking, “What an amazing, giving organization!”
Kenzi and her family feel that way, too. So, in order to give back to the hospital, the family has hosted Pappy Z’s Farm Fest, an annual music festival, the last seven years. The festival has featured local bands from northeast Ohio, while others have come from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Dawn told us that a group one year traveled all the way from Indiana. In concert with the stellar music, Kenzi gets on stage each year to thank everyone for coming out to support the hospital that’s made such a difference in her and other kids’ lives.
Great music and an excellent cause are a recipe for awesome. Accordingly, a huge crowd turns out annually, including many people who have children helped by Shriners. Tickets sell for $10 each (including camping!), with proceeds benefiting Shriners Hospital. Dawn and her family do all they can to keep overhead at a minimum. For example, instead of paying the bands, each group is given 20 tickets to sell. The money earned from those ticket sales is how the bands pay themselves. Even so, many of the bands donate that money back to Shriners.
We’re so proud that the tickets for this fantastic festival are ordered from Eventgroove! If you’re in or around southeast Ohio the weekend of September 1, we hope you’ll buy tickets. This year, Pappy Z’s Farm Fest takes place September 1–3 with scheduled performances from Ben Flint, Losing September, Memories Of Sunday, Poobah, Reign of One, Joint Effort, and more. Get more details on Pappy Z’s event page on Facebook!