Groups of people share conversations on the porch of the Stony Creek Inn during one of its ever-popular fundraising events. Courtesy photo
The Stony Creek Inn, an historic mountain-town bar and hotel that for more than three decades has been the area’s landmark venue for alternative culture and rousing music, will be holding a fundraiser this weekend. The event will be featuring a lineup of renowned area bands.
The annual charity fundraiser, held by Dot Bartell and John Fickel — long-time proprietors of the Inn — is set for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday June 14. Known as “Dot & Johnstock,” the fest features live music, dancing, food, raffles, an auction and various other activities.
Money raised goes to two charities: the Southern Adirondack Musician’s Fund — which helps local musicians through difficult times — and Cindy’s Retreat, which offers getaways for people who are undergoing cancer treatment and their families.
The event reflects a sense of community among the Adirondack-area musicians and artists. The fest also celebrates the rural alternative culture that has flourished in the hills since the late 1970s — and has been a mainstay at the Stony Creek Inn over the decades that Bartell and Fickel have operated the inn.
The fundraiser was launched by friends of Bartell and Fickel in 2008 when they both were facing cancer treatments, and the fest was immensely successful. Since then, the duo — along with their friends and volunteers — have held the event annually, and it’s yielded about $35,000 over the last six years for charity.
Musicians and bands from the region are to be performing all day long. Also featured at the event is an extensive silent auction with goods and services from area businesses and a selection of works created by area artists.
Featured performers include the Stony Creek Band — which has been performing at the Inn regularly since the mid-1970s — plus George Fletcher’s ‘Folding Money’ Blues Band, Soul Sky with guitarist Mark Emanation, fiddler Nelson Rock, and Hank Soto & Johnny “Rockin’” Kribs, among others, Bartell said.
“Musicians love playing here because of the history, the sound due to the wooden stage and walls, the spirit of the crowd, and the way they are received and well-respected,” she said.
John Strong of Stony Creek Band offered his thoughts on the Stony Creek Inn.
“It’s far more than just a bar, it’s a warm room,” he said. “People are there to really listen to the music — it’s always been a great venue for musicians.”
Proceeds to aid Cindy's Retreat also
Bartell added that the event serves as a reunion of cancer survivors and their family members, as well as those receiving grants from the musicians’ fund.
Cindy’s Retreat, developed by the late Cindy Ginsburg, provides emotional and spiritual healing for women, men, living with and beyond cancer, with weekend programs at Silver Bay on Lake George and Roaring Brook Ranch of Lake George.
The fest’s auction of donated goods and services — including restaurant meals, rounds of golf, artworks getaway accommodations — will raise additional money for the charities.
Bartell said she was impressed by people’s generosity at the fundraiser.
“It’s inspiring how people want to give what they can, regardless of their means,” she said, noting there’s no entrance fee. “If people don’t have a lot of money, they are just as welcome to attend. Every single person makes the day what it is!”
Donations from those not attending are welcome. Make checks out to Cindy’s Retreat or the Southern Adirondack Musicians Fund and mail to: Stony Creek Inn, P.O. Box 184, Stony Creek, NY 12878. Receipts will be provided for documenting tax deductions. Total proceeds of the event will be shared equally among the two charities, Bartell said. For further information, contact Bartell at 696-2394 or Kathy Garrow at 696-4563 or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, the music and partying continues
The fun doesn’t end Saturday at the Stony Creek Inn. On Sunday June 15, the band Shadowland with Mark Emanation, Tom Dolan and vocalist Amy Collins singing every thing from the blues to Celtic tunes. will be featured beginning at 6 p.m.
Stony Creek Inn has a colorful, lively history
Bartell reflected on her and John’s 34 years as proprietors of the Inn, noting that in 1980 her friend Cyndi Muratori dreamed up the slogan “Still Crazy After All These Years” to publicize the Inn. The slogan reflected the Inn’s reputation under the prior ownership of musician Art Pratt — and how this eclectic spirit was destined to continue.
“That slogan is so appropriate, especially after the last 35 years,” she said, noting that she and John are now starting on their third generation of clientele. Many of those who were youngsters in the early years of their ownership of the Inn are now adults with their own children who are coming to Inn events with their parents and grandparents, she said.
“People have an amazing passion for the Inn,” she said. “It’s always been so full of life and energy.”