Wayne Stock V rocks past expectations for organizers

Willie Playmore performs at Wayne Stock V Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Ski Bowl Park in North Creek.

Willie Playmore performs at Wayne Stock V Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Ski Bowl Park in North Creek. McKenna Kelly

— Despite temperatures in the 90s, the North Country Hardship Fund hosted its fifth annual Wayne Stock Music Festival Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Ski Bowl Park to a record crowd.

Close to 1,000 people attended, with almost $22,000 raised for the organization. Both these numbers rocket past anything the North Country Hardship fund has done in the past.

Tamara and Wayne Bukovinksy, who founded the North Country Hardship Fund after Wayne was involved in a devastating motorcycle accident, were overcome with emotion at how many people turned out to support their organization. Wayne couldn’t find words to describe how touched he was by everyone’s kindness. He compared it to the 2000 film “Pay it Forward,” in which a chain of good deeds branches out from one to many. Tamara echoed the sentiment.

“A lot of people who we’ve helped walked through this gate,” Tamara said as she handed out event passes. “Pass it on and pay it forward.”

Wayne Stock is a free event. All of the money raised came from donations, merchandise sales and charity auctions. There were five live auctions featuring donations from people all over the Adirondacks. Artwork, baked goods, clothing, and even a sail board lined tables waiting to be auctioned off. Local businesses donated gift certificates for silent auctions which were drawn throughout the evening.

The most exciting items were held until the end of the 11-hour festival. The last auction of the evening featured a slew of big-name music memorabilia. A one-of-a-kind Meatloaf Netherlands tour jacket sold for $110. An autographed Phish poster netted $160. A 1980s electric guitar signed by eight different musicians closed at $750. This was bested only by a hand-made “Squealer by Wheeler” electric guitar, which sold for $850. The most highly anticipated item of all, a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, was raffled off at the end of the last auction. Jeff Britton, whose wife Donna performed earlier that evening, walked away the winner.

There were a few new additions this year to the festival. Gore Mountain provided a snow gun to spray mist over guests who needed a break from the heat, and the stage boasted new lights to awe crowds after dark. A small group of people was allowed to camp out in the Ski Bowl that evening, a trial run for possible event camping options in the future.

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