Monday, August 04, 2008

Get ready for the Hair Dare Dukes Weekend

Here on the BRBTV News Blog, we've been telling you all about the Hair Dare Dukes Weekend in Ontario, Canada, a benefit event focused on "The Dukes of Hazzard." BRB was a guest at the event last year, and will be returning this year. For today's post we offer you the full rundown of the event with the text of the official press release ...

CONTACT: Paul Harrington, 519-975-0056
Canadian Dukes Museum, Ruscom Station, Ontario, Canada


This year Paul Harrington of Ruscom Station, Ontario, Canada, his wife Cheryl, and son Lance Brown, along with family members and some very close friends, have united to put together one of the best events in Southern Ontario, maybe even one of the best events in Canada.

It's the Hair Dare Dukes Weekend, a car show, swap meet and cut-a-thon cancer benefit, scheduled for Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24 at the Leamington Fairgrounds, with a special dinner event on Friday, August 22 beginning at 3 p.m. This year is the sixth year for the Hair Dare event, which celebrates the classic TV show "The Dukes of Hazzard" as its theme.

"The reason I keep this event going is it is the only way that I know I can help make a little bit of a difference," Harrington says. "We can share our feelings with others about this sickness, because at least 90 percent of the population out there knows someone that has died from cancer."

Though he began the event in 2003 in honour of his mother, a cancer survivor, this year is even more meaningful for Harrington. "In February of this year, we lost another great man, my boss of almost 11 years and close family friend Steve Stowe, to this dreadful disease we call cancer. What hurts me the most, Steve was the only reason I became a licensed automotive technician, and during his short stay in the hospital we talked about a lot of things. I mentioned to Steve what we were planning this year as a charity, and he said 'That's great, Paul.' I will remember those words for as long as I live."

A special memorial will be held for Steve Stowe on the Sunday of the event, at 2 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

The past five years of the Hair Dare event have raised more than $28,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. For this year's event, Harrington and his sister, Debra-Ann Taylor of Tilbury, contacted St. Clair College to start a scholarship fund for a student surviving cancer.

The scholarship will be put into place with the help of Susan Maxwell, executive director of the St. Clair College Foundation, Windsor, and Lynn McGeachy Schultz, director of advancement at Thames Campus, Chatham.

"I think this was a great choice that we made," Harrington says. "At least we can see where the money is going, and it will be helping a local student that is surviving cancer."

Part of the way the event raises money is through pledges for "Hair Dares" -- when participants vow to daringly cut or shave their hair for the cause. Haircuts on Saturday will be provided by Estelle's Affordable Hair Cuts from Chatham, and on Sunday haircuts will be provided by Mastercuts of the Devonshire Mall. "Thanks so much for their time; it is greatly appreciated," Harrington says.

The Saturday morning of the event starts with a "Parade of All Cars." Participants should meet at the Comfort Inn in Leamington at 8 a.m. The parade route is from the Comfort Inn to the Leamington Fairgrounds. "Special thanks to the Leamington Police for their help this year," Harrington says.

There will be several special guests at this year's event. Don Pedro Colley, who portrayed Sheriff Ed Little on "The Dukes," will sign autographs and chat with fans. He'll be joined by Byron Cherry, who played Coy Duke in the series.

Felix Silla, a prolific classic TV actor who portrayed the Alien Visitor in the "Dukes" episode "Strange Visitor to Hazzard," will appear for the first time at the event. Silla also played Cousin Itt on "The Addams Family," and was Twiki on "Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century." He also portrayed an Ewok on "Star Wars," and appeared in "The Planet of the Apes" and "Batman Returns."

All the actors will be signing photos and other items all weekend long, and there will be a lot of photo opportunities for the fans, Harrington says.

Also appearing at the event will be Billie Rae Bates of Atlanta, Georgia, author of the "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" reference guide.

Will Rodgers, aka "THE VOICE MAN," of Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be returning to warm the crowds again. "Will's voice impersonations are just overwhelming, from all of the 'Dukes' casts members to the 'All in the Family' theme song," Harrington says. "Wow, he's just incredible."

Billy Stephenson will be making his way on stage, all the way from Georgia also, just a few hours from where the 'Dukes' started out.

"We have a few extras who were in the 'Dukes of Hazzard' 2005 movie that will be here as well," Harrington says, including himself. He's been a lifelong "Dukes" fan and not only owns his own General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger painted orange, but also Hazzard County Sheriff's cars from both the series and the 2005 movie. Currently he is building a Monster 4x4 General Lee, and a Cooter tow truck. He's collected "Dukes" memorabilia -- including genuine props from the filming of the series, and the 2005 "Dukes" movie for many years.

Other features planned for the Hair Dare Dukes Weekend include the Smack-A-Wreck, where participants get a chance to swing a hammer on a clunker car, and a Daisy Duke look-alike contest. A dunk tank also will keep everyone busy, as well as a silent auction.

The Memphis Kings, a band from Essex County, Ontario. will be on stage Saturday, and country singer Traci Kennedy of St. Thomas will be appearing on Sunday.

"A special thanks goes out to all the local newspapers that help us put this out in print so the public can read about this event," Harrington says.

Admission to Saturday and Sunday of the event is only $3 per person. The Leamington Fairgrounds are located at 194 Erie Street North in Leamington. Tickets for Friday night's Dinner With the Stars, at $25 each, are now available: call 519-975-0056 to reserve yours.

Harrington would also like to thank all of the event sponsors, because without their support this event would not take place:
Sign A Rama - Garden City Michigan
Comfort Inn - Leamington
Johnny Lightning - U.S.A.
Chochi's Pizza - Essex / Leamington / Belle River
J & B Auto Recyclers - Windsor
Murphy Bus Lines - Arva
AutoBarn / Car Quest - Essex
Elford & Stowe Ltd. - Essex
Harrington Aviation - Essex
Affordable Family Fun - Essex
Cottam Transmission - Cottam
Car Classica - Leamington
Jay Deeze Lounge & Grille - Leamington
Local printers of Essex & Kent Counties
Country Radio Station 92.7 FM - Leamington

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