Oxfest

A music festival — OxFest 2017 — will take place this Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Washington Fairgrounds. The gates will open at noon.

The event will benefit a scholarship in Duane Haddox’s name at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, where Duane served as athletic director, and an active supporter of Whole Kids Outreach, a nonprofit organization which works to address unmet needs of pregnant women and children in rural Missouri.

OxFest will cost $25 at the door and feature four different bands — Tall Poppies, 2 p.m.; Johnny King and Friends, 4 p.m.; Burnt Whiskey, 6 p.m.; and

Butch Wax and the Hollywoods, a tribute to Chuck Berry, with special guest Billy Peek, 8 p.m.

The festival originated from an annual barbecue organized by Dave Haddox and Kevin Walde in 2014 to memorialize the lives of Dave’s brothers.

Doug, the oldest, and Duane the middle brother died prematurely from complications of diabetes, in 2013 and 2010, respectively.

Oxfest Vice President Chuck Marquart said Dave Haddox and Walde had dreamt about turning the barbecue into a music festival for some time.

“It’s finally come to fruition,” Marquart said. “This is really going to be a big draw for us. It’s going to be a great party.”

The proceeds from the festival will be split between the Haddox Foundation, which provides an annual scholarship to a student athlete who exudes good sportsmanship and values at SFBRHS and Whole Kids Outreach (WKO) working in southeast Missouri to help impoverished families.

About Whole Kids

WKO aims to provide health care in a 5,000-square-mile area in southeast Missouri. The nonprofit is based out of Reynolds County and serves impoverished families in the nearby area with health care and other services.

“Our mission is to address the unmet health needs of moms and moms with babies who live in poverty in these six counties in Missouri,” said Development Director Connie Lanaghan. “Lots of people don’t know it but there is this pocket of pretty profound poverty in that area.”

Lanaghan said many families living in the service area are “Appalachian poor.” She said these families often are left without any access to health care or the income to afford it.

“It’s like Appalachian-style poverty where people live in homes with dirt floors and no electricity,” she said. “They’re medically isolated, there isn’t a lot of health care available for them.”

Whole Kid Outreach’s major focus is providing health care to mothers who are expecting or have recently given birth. She said, often, with the lack of access to any sort of health care, babies are born in difficult conditions.

“When you put together poverty and lack of access to health care you end up with moms who have pre-term babies who are sicker than normal, children who aren’t getting their shots and health care,” Lanaghan said.

“Those types of challenges for a family tacked on with poverty it tends to increase the rate of child abuse and neglect,” she said. “So we thought if they can’t get to doctors and nurses we’re going to go to them and take health care to them. We’ve made a big difference down there.”

Lanaghan said the families in the area who go unassisted often fall into bad situations that lead to cases of abuse and neglect. She said the families who do get involved with the organization are more likely to succeed.

Of the families who participate with WKO, no children have experienced child abuse since joining, 96 percent of the moms carried their child to term and 94 percent of children received health care that they needed.

WKO also helps parents learn life skills such as teaching them how to fill out job applications and budget.

Marquart said the Oxfest board is looking forward to the festival this weekend and has already started looking ahead to next year’s celebration.

Lanaghan said Doug Haddox had been very involved with WKO after its inception in 1999.

Marquart, who was a close friend of the Haddox brothers, said the festival provides a perfect opportunity to raise money to help kids in the bootheel and honor the brothers’ values.

Tickets

Tickets for the festival can be purchased in advance at Bank of Franklin County or the Washington Knights of Columbus Hall or ordered online at oxfestmusicfestival2017.brownpapertickets.com.

The festival also can be followed on Facebook at OxFestMO.

For more information, contact Dave Haddox at 636-432-9516 or haddoxd@att.net.