Hickory Fest gives to Relay

From left are, Amy Rumsey, Tioga County Relay for Life co-chair, Pam Shipe, Hickory Fest volunteer, Michelle Bowers, Tioga County Relay for Life co-chair; Colleen Johnson, Relay for Life volunteer, Frank Serio, Ferlin Patrick, executive director Growth Resources of Wellsboro; Bridget Grim, owner, Stony Fork Creek Campground; Kristina Albrecht, community development manager, American Cancer Society and Jeff and Laura Ahlum, Hickory Fest volunteers.

This year, Little Hickory Productions Inc. a Pennsylvania not for profit corporation and Serio’s holding company for Hickory Fest, donated $6,129 to the Tioga County Relay For Life.

This will be the festival’s 17th year at the Stony Fork Creek Campground in Wellsboro, Aug. 16–18.

Hickory Fest, an American Roots Music Festival, was co-founded and produced by Susan E. Cunningham who produced the festival for the first 13 years until her passing in September 2015.

Cunningham was a world-class violinist who performed around the globe, and also had a love of bluegrass music.

The festival, held annually, is currently produced by Cunningham’s life partner Frank Serio, along with the help from friends in both Wellsboro and Florida, where the couple lived part time.

Hickory Fest was a side project for Sunningham. Born out of her passion for live music, her desire to bring national musical acts to Wellsboro, and to create a fun and entertaining weekend of music for all to enjoy.

Hickory Fest brings in national touring acts, as well as regional and local musicians, but the festival’s focus is now to pay tribute to Sue by raising money to benefit the causes that were near and dear to her heart.

When Serio lost the love of his life, he chose to honor her memory by keeping her legacy alive by continuing the festival and giving back to the community.

The donations to Relay For Life began in 2011 when Cunningham was first diagnosed with cancer, and have continued since then raising more than $50,000 in that time.

In addition to Relay For Life, Little Hickory Productions/Hickory Fest also supports the Sue Cunningham Memorial Music Scholarship at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla. This scholarship selects a student violinist each year and sends the student to summer music camp. The winner and a parent are flown to Wellsboro, lodged locally, and celebrated on stage at Hickory Fest.

In addition to Hickory Fest, Little Hickory Productions Inc, puts on several benefit concerts that take place each year at the Church of the Good Shepard in Tequesta Fla., where Cunningham used to perform benefit concerts.

For more information, visit www.hickoryfest.com