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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hee Haw & Howdy offers cornpone for a cause

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome to Corn Field County! Cast members of "Hee How & Howdy" perform at one of last week's shows. The show goes on this weekend at Central High's auditorium.
(T-G Photo by Jaime Welsh) [Order this photo]
The real Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones and Junior may have gone on to perform at the Opry in the Sky, but the tradition of country music and down home fun they built on the old show "Hee Haw" continues in Shelbyville.

The annual cornpone review "Hee Haw and Howdy" that benefits the American Cancer Society is back, and if you missed last week's shows, don't worry -- this year, extra performances have been added and you can catch the show in Central High's auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Normally, tickets are $10 each, but that's changed a little bit this year, too.

"We're going to have $5 admission Friday night only," said Wendy Stacy, who directs the show. She works on the show with her sister, Samantha Chamblee, who chairs the Bedford County Relay For Life, the nonprofit, cancer awareness organization. The sisters lost their own mother to the disease, so the show -- and the cause -- have a lot of meaning for them.

In a previous story, she said the importance of "Hee Haw & Howdy" to the county is immeasurable. It not only raises money for ACS, but it also brings the community together for awareness -- and a good old fashioned good time.

This year's show has gone smoothly, said Stacy. Many of the cast members returned from last year, including Cort Huffman as Junior Samples and Derry Graham as Grandpa Jones. Mary Brown is taking over the role of Minnie Pearl and is leaving the audiences laughing.

Also new this year is an "Opry" section, where classic tunes from the good old days of the Grand Ole Opry are played. There are 25 cast members and XX band members -- and they are all volunteers, including Stacy.

"This is my third year directing it," said Stacy. "I am very active in Relay for Life and this is one of the biggest fundraisers in this county."

Moving back into a school auditorium last year made a big difference in the turnout for the show, and Stacy is hoping the half-price tickets Friday will do the same.

If you would like to become involved in next year's "Hee Haw & Howdy" event or Relay for Life, contact Stacy at 224-0888 or Chamblee at 703-7267.

Tickets are available at the door or at The Hair Company, 616 E. Lane St.

Relay For Life

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature fundraiser, bringing communities together in hope, celebration and memory. The overnight event remembers those who have lost the fight against cancer and honors those who have survived.

Since 1985, Relay For Life has grown from one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt -- who walked, ran and jogged around a track for more than 24 hours to raise money for his local American Cancer Society unit -- to a national movement to eliminate cancer, according to a book about the Relay For Life. Now, more than 3.5 million people in more than 5,000 communities nationwide, and in 19 countries around the world, participate in the event each spring.

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