To students, September probably feels far away as they soak up the summer sunshine. For Farmington Rotary members, though, they’ve been preparing for their September event all year.
Ramble Jam, the country music festival hosted by the Rotary, along with K102 and Jeff Belzer’s car dealership, happens this year Sept. 15-16.
Last year the event raised somewhere between $60,000-70,000, with funds going toward donations to the police and fire department, as well as scholarships to Farmington High School, both for the general student population and through the STRIVE program.
STRIVE, Students Taking Renewed Interest and Value in Education, has as its purpose to motivate high school seniors to discover their own strengths and talents to increase their personal and academic achievements. Further incentives are offered through scholarships for secondary education at a college chosen by the student.
Locally, the Rotary enlists volunteers through different vendors as they sell raffle tickets for the event. The vendors then can keep 80 percent of sales, so local businesses also get supported.
The fire department upgraded radios, gardens improved at the high school, and also park and recreation youth scholarships. Internationally, Rotary helps to eradicate polio through annual contributions to PolioPlus, as well as donations to projects to find clean water.
Nathan Hansen, the marketing and social media guru for the club, is one of its 30 members. All year, members have been working together to identify who they want as artists, finding quality equipment, and hammering out the small details to put together such a large event.
Hansen says that he loves the event because “it’s fun to see everyone else having a good time,” even if he himself isn’t a big country music fan, nor does he really get to hear a lot of the shows since he’s behind the scenes.
He joined Rotary back in 2002, at the recommendation of then-superintendent of schools, Robert Villanova.
For a few years he was involved, but not real active.
Since then he became public relations chair, and recently, marketing and social media specialist.
Why’s he stuck with it for so long?
“I like knowing that we’re giving something back to the community,” Hansen said.
This year’s lineup includes:
Friday, Sept. 15 — 10 p.m. Brett Young; 8 p.m. Tucker Beathard and 6 p.m. Chris Hawkey
Saturday, Sept. 16 — 10 p.m. artist to be announced Aug. 18; 8 p.m. Drake White & The Big Fire; 6 p.m. William Michael Morgan; 4 p.m. Drew Baldridge and 2 p.m. The Plott Hounds.
Friday night’s headliner, Young, is billed has having a West Coast-meets-Southern sound, dubbed “Caliville” style.
Rolling Stone Country said Young is “destined for mass appeal.”
He is released his self-titled, debut album on BMLG Records Feb. 10.
The album was recorded in Nashville with producer Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Steven Tyler) and features 11 of the 12 tracks co-written by Young, including his debut No. 1 single “Sleep Without You.”
The accompanying video amassed more than 10.8 million views since its release.
In addition to his own headlining dates, the California native was most recently on the road with Brad Paisley’s Country Nation College Tour.
More about the other acts is at http://ramblejamcountry.com.