During their Saturday afternoon appearance, the band performed "The Last Parade," a powerful song written by Steve Bonafel in honor of Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carnes of Dayton, Kentucky, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Immediately following, Mullins introduced Robert Woods, the Ohio State Captain of the Patriot Guard Riders™, a support group of motorcycle riders accessible in all 50 states, available at a family’s request, to honor and ensure dignity and respect at memorial services honoring fallen military heroes, first responders, and honorably discharged veterans. The band presented him with a check for $3,000. The contribution was made possible through proceeds from the digital downloads of "The Last Parade" along with sales of a commemorative t-shirt donated by Buckminn’s D&D Harley-Davidson located in Xenia, OH.
“Our sincere thanks go to ALL who have contributed to our efforts assisting the Patriot Guard Riders," states Joe Mullins. "Each time we have performed 'The Last Parade' for audiences this year, we have dedicated the song to the fallen heroes who have given all to serve our country and communities. The Patriot Guard Riders assist hundreds of families each week, nationwide, with such passion and dignity. And it was very moving to find out that Captain Bob Woods, who accepted the donation, actually assisted in the procession the song is about, for Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carnes – powerful.”
Later in the evening, Mullins introduced Dave Thompson, Andrew Thompson, and Robbie Booneof Janet Davis Acoustic Music, the band's official supply sponsor, who together with Mullins, presented a check in the amount of $2,000 to Richard Hutchinson, Chapter Coordinator of the Cincinnati, Ohio Chapter of Guitars for Vets (G4V), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of injured and ailing veterans through the healing power of music with free guitars and lessons to vets in a structured program staffed by volunteers. This contribution was made possible through the donation of a Martin guitar by Janet Davis Acoustic Music and a patriotic-themed handmade quilt donated by Wilma Miller. A $5 donation per prize allowed festival attendees to enter a drawing to win either item with all proceeds given to G4V. As a special surprise, Hutchinson was also presented a Martin guitar by Janet Davis Acoustic Music for use in the G4V program.
“The healing power of music is well known in the bluegrass community," explains Mullins. "For our fans to contribute several hundred dollars to Guitars for Vets confirms this and I know funds will provide opportunity for lives and hearts to be restored from the traumas of the battlefield. What could be better? And we are very grateful for the generosity of our friend Wilma Miller and Janet Davis Acoustic Music. The Thompson family of JDAM eagerly supports our charitable efforts at the festival each November. What a blessing.”