Potsdam Charity Hankfest is no more
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 2:39 pm

POTSDAM -- The Potsdam charity Hankfest is discontinuing after more than a decade.

The core group of four or five volunteers has found it difficult to continue, according to the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce.

“Our life situations have changed, and we feel now is the time to stop,” event founder Greg Bouchard said in a prepared statement from the chamber. “We feel confident that with the development of the Ives Park Concert Series, there will be music for the community to enjoy in the years to come. We also know that fans of country music will continue to support local charities.”

For 11 years, an afternoon in August was set aside for country music and community service.

The event was first in the Ives Park gazebo and then moved to the pavilion in Sandstoner Park.

Now the Potsdam Charity Hankfest Group has decided to dissolve and will not organize a Hankfest event this year.

Bouchard formed the group in 2005.

It had two goals: to honor Hank Williams Sr.’s contributions to country music and raise money for local charities.

The proceeds from every Hankfest went to a chosen local charity. Over the years, the group raised from just a couple hundred dollars to its most successful year in 2014, with $700. Groups that benefited included the Potsdam Library, The Birthplace at CPH, Potsdam Humane Society, Hospice of SLV, American Red Cross, Cerebral Palsy Assoc. of the North Country, Helping Hands of Potsdam, Boys & Girls Club of Ogdensburg, Warner Cancer Treatment Center and a high school music student.

“We wish to thank all the musicians who volunteered their talent to the event over the years and all the businesses that donated to our efforts,” Bouchard said in the release. “I also thank all the people that attended."