- Cullman, Alabama

June 25, 2013

Local charities, school benefit from Rock the South music festival

By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times

— When Hanceville native Shane Quick created Rock The South a year ago to mark the anniversary of the April 27 tornadoes, he wanted it to be a celebration of people helping people in a time of need.

So, as planning began for an even bigger festival in 2013, the event organizer wanted to continue along that same theme, this time though focusing on those who help people in need day in and day out.

Over the weekend, Quick, along with host Sara Evans and her husband Jay Barker, awarded more than $50,000 in donations to six non-profit organizations in the state, including four locally. One of those was The Link, a faith-based organization that supports the needs of neighbors through goal setting, career advising, financial counseling, GED classes, adult literacy programs, and ESL classes.

"We're very grateful to Rock The South and Belle Foods for thinking of us for a donation," founder and executive director Dawn Owens said of the $5,000 donation. "We're also grateful to Shane (Quick) for seeing the vision of Link. I'm still in shock."

Also receiving a $5,000 donation was Cullman Christian School.

"It's a wonderful blessing," principal Rachael Howze said. "We're very grateful and blessed they were willing to donate to the school.We have wonderful support and appreciate the people in the community willing to support us in our ministry at Cullman Chrisitan."

In addition, Brooks' Place, an organization that works to nurture hope and healing in the lives of children and families impacted by child sexual abuse, as well as HOPE — Horses Offering People Encouragement, Inc. — a therapeutic riding center for those with special needs, and Alabama Forever, a Birmingham based organization started to help people in poverty after the April 27 tornadoes, also received $5,000 donations.

Children's Hospital was awarded $25,000.

Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 135, or by email at