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FAME Girls’ Ranch holds annual fundraiser

Shenandoah, featuring Marty Raybon, performed Sept. 5 at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence for the Fourth Annual Tunes and Tees Music Event, a yearly fundraiser for FAME Girls’ Ranch, located between Russellville and Littleville.

“What we do at FAME is take care of girls who cannot live with their families because of the choices of the adults in their lives,” explained director Cindy Hall. “Our girls have really endured a lot of heartbreak and trauma.”

The ranch is the former family home of FAME Studios founder the late Rick Hall and his wife Linda.

A slideshow with photos of the girls ran during the first portion of the evening.

This was the first year for the event to be held at the Marriott, a decision made to accommodate the increasing demand for tickets. The change in venue, Cindy explained, made it possible to expand the seating from 25 to 40 tables.

Approximately 350 people attended to enjoy the buffet dinner and musical stylings of Grammy award-winner Shenandoah. 

Shenandoah has 14 No. 1 records and four gold albums and is on its 35th anniversary tour. The band leads off shows with “Next to You, Next to Me” – a song Rick and Linda Hall always used to say was “their song.”

The band encouraged the audience to sing along whenever they wanted.

Mary Herston, a former house mother and current secretary and office manager for the ranch, spoke about the impact working with the girls has had and continues to have both for herself and for the young women she is afforded the opportunity to help and get to know along the way. 

A special presentation featured Casey, a young girl who was able to be removed from a dangerous situation and be placed in the care of the ranch. Herston was her house mother, and they still stay in touch.

Herston said many of the girls come in with no basic necessities. Donations are always welcome and needed. 

Necessary expenditures to maintain the ranch can be quite high, and unexpected repairs hinder the reach of available funds. “We are blessed to have such an incredible community that supports the work we do at FAME,” Cindy said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

FAME Girls’ Ranch is one of four Alabama Sheriffs’ Boys and Girls Ranches. For more information, call 256-331-3813 or 256-710-3207 or email cmhall1963@gmail.com.

The second portion of the yearly fundraiser will be the Sixth Annual Tunes & Tees Golf Tournament. It will be held at Twin Pines Country Club Sept. 13.

Cost is $100 per golfer – $400 for a four-member team. Registration can be made at Twin Pines, by emailing famegirlsranchgolftournament@gmail.com or by calling Buzz McKinney at 256-509-1111.