With half a dozen cold beers on tap to slake the thirst of well over 600 participants on a sweltering Memorial Day eve, Honesdale Rotary’s Second Annual Blues, Brews and BBQ raised money seven different ways in support of Honesdale EMS’ lifesaving mission.



With half a dozen cold beers on tap to slake the thirst of well over 600 participants on a sweltering Memorial Day eve, Honesdale Rotary’s Second Annual Blues, Brews and BBQ raised money seven different ways in support of Honesdale EMS’ lifesaving mission.

With “tremendous, widespread community support” for the event, Rotary’s event chairman John O’Reilly said numerous area businesses and individuals stepped up to support them in more ways than just buying tickets to attend.

“We had a lot of sponsorships,” O’Reilly said, “As well as a lot of advertising  support, ticket sales, a cash raffle, basket raffles — all donated — beverage sales and T-shirt sales. We’re still tabulating how much we actually raised.” But, he said, it is substantial.

O’Reilly explained that Honesdale EMS (HEMS) was chosen to be the beneficiary of this year’s event in an effort to help them pay for the new building they’ve recently bought, as well as much needed equipment upgrades.

“We’re well aware of the needs of the EMS,” O’Reilly said, “We really appreciate what they do, and we felt they were a worthy cause for the event.”

According to HEMS Community Relations Manager Stan Pratt, the event will prove a “tremendous help” for a volunteer organization where funding is always a major hurdle.

“To have a community organization like the Rotary step up to help us out this way is tremendously valuable for us,” Pratt said, “But it’s even more so for the community we serve.”

To illustrate this point, Pratt pointed to the fact that one use of the money will be to purchase to cardiac monitors with, among other features, the ability to monitor carbon monoxide in the bloodstream, a feature that could greatly enhance HEMS’ ability to treat victims of housefires.

A member of an international volunteer organization, Honesdale Rotary hosted the event — in O’Reilly’s words — to help build camaraderie with the community and support worthy causes. He thanked the community in general for their broad support, and mentioned that his group could always use new volunteers to help them support future worthy causes.

Among those worthy causes — the blues of performer Bobby Kyle, whose smoking hot guitar and six piece band brought the crowd assembled in Rusty Palmer’s cavernous showroom to their feet.

The highlight of the evening — Dave Edwards, the winner of the $500 cash raffle — graciously returned his winnings to the Rotary in his mother’s name to benefit Honesdale EMS.