Wayne Bukovinksy shakes the hand of Johnsonville representitive Bob Szumloz while Scott Allard and Ann Woodard look on during Wayne Stock VI on Aug. 3. The Wayne Stock Music Festival won the Johnsonville Best of US Contest grand prize of $10,000 on June 24 for the category of Community Celebrations, dedicated to special events, parades and festivals.
Around 1,100 people attended Wayne Stock VI on Aug. 3, breaking last year’s record. The music festival is a free event held each year at Ski Bowl Park, all the money raised comes from donations, live and silent auctions, a raffle, merchandise, and food.
All profits benefit the North Country Hardship Fund (NCHF) which provides aid to people who have suffered tragic events, such as accidents and serious illnesses, in the form of grants as high as $1,000.
It was after suffering a catastrophic motorcycle accident in 2008 and after being the recipient of the first Wayne Stock benefit, that Wayne Bukovinksy decided along with his wife, and with the encouragement of family and friends, to found the NCHF as a way to both pay back and pay forward the help he received.
At the time of his accident Bukovinksy was not expected to live, then not expected to make a significant recovery.
“When I loaded Wayne into that helicopter I thought that was the last time I would see him alive,” said NCHF board member Scott Allard. “But here is with us today and here we are at Wayne Stock VI.”
The theme of this year’s festival was “Believe.” Wayne explained that he always sets his goals very high and that each year he set a goal for the amount he wanted to raise and that they have always managed to meet and exceed that goal.
“After having met and passed our goals each year, I believe we will again this year,” Bukovinksy said.
According to James Martin, vice president of NCHF, who worked with Wayne for 12 years at Creative Stage Lighting before his accident, the theme of “Believe” is also about the importance of believing in yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your country, especially when tragedy strikes.