Family Carries on Loved One's Charitable Legacy With Farm Fest 2012

Meghan McRoberts

LOUISVILLE (KPTM)- A little over a year ago, one Nebraska family lost a loved one, Laura Ballard, to cancer. In her honor, family tried to organize a small annual get together.

During the last few months, the community and area radio stations got word of what they were planning. What was meant to be a small gathering is becoming much more.

Ronda McCarthy is Ballard's cousin. She says the last year has been tough on Ballard's kids. "For the girls, the first milestones, getting through the first year without their mom, it's hard," said McCarthy.

To help give them another memory including their mother, Ronda wanted to plan a "Farm Fest." She envisioned a family get together with a band, and a canned good collection as Ballard would want.

Ballard's oldest daughter, Holly Ballard, said her mother was known for being charitable. "She always was the first person to volunteer for whatever she heard about, any kind of charitable things, " explained Holly.

When word got out about the family's story, and desire to continue Ballard's charitable legacy, more people wanted to get on board. "It's gone beyond anyone's expectations," said Holly.

16 bands from Lincoln, Bennington, Omaha, and around the area have volunteered their time for free for the Farm Fest. Matt Dibaise is a member of the band "Save the Hero", and says his band was more than happy to help.

"The idea that they've come up with, I think it's just amazing that they can do that especially with what they've been through," said Dibaise.

Not just bands, but art, food, jewelry, and other entertainment vendors have joined in.

"We just want to go out and have a great time and have a memory of mom," said Ballard's youngest daughter, Lilly.

Everyone that comes to the Farm Fest is asked to bring 2 cans to donate to the hungry. Ballard's daughters will take them to the needy.

Check out the following link for more information and a list of the bands.

The Farm Fest at the Vogler Farm in Louisville runs from Oct. 6 at 11am to Oct. 7th at 3pm.

Admission is $25 for both days, or $15 for just one.

Camping space is available overnight for $10 for the 1st 200 people.

The Vogler Farm is located off Hwy 50 in Louisville. Go a country block past Church Rd to 11317 Highway 50.