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Event raises $3,000 for music programs

A bean bag tossing tournament and other games were part of the fun during Sunday's gathering in Star Prairie.1 / 2
Ozzie's Rockin' Jam in Star Prairie on Sunday included plenty of music, lots of dancing, raffles and a silent auction throughout the day. About $3,000 was raised during the event.2 / 2

On Sunday, "Ozzie's Rockin' Jam: Making Music Possible" lived up to the title by raising more than $3,000 for New Richmond Middle School music programs.

Organizers estimate that approximately 500 people attended the day-long event, held at the Star Prairie Sports Bar and Star Prairie Community Center.

A bean bag tournament attracted a good number of participants. Volunteers offered to create crazy hairstyles for a fee, and $192 was raised by that effort alone.

The biggest fundraisers for the day turned out to be the silent auction and prize raffles.

Six-plus acts performed throughout the day under an outdoor tent. The crowd heard everything from reggae to country to heavy metal, and seemed to enjoy it all.

Among those attending the day's events were long-time band boosters Wally and Esther Lind and former Tiger Band director Rich Gregerson and wife Wendy.

The fundraiser was held in memory of Jason "Ozzie" Oswald, a longtime local musician with ties to the school music programs. Oswald died in a car accident on Nov. 9, 2011. He was 37.

Following his death, his family and friends wanted to do something to honor his memory. The idea grew into this large event, which featured Oswald's former bands and other acts that include friends he'd made through his years in music.

Mary Hubbell, Oswald's mother, said she was pleased with how the whole event turned out.

"I'm awed at the kindness and generosity of people, not to mention how moved I am that people loved my son so much they couldn't wait to do anything they could to help us with this," she said.

Next, Hubbell said, the organizers will work with the teachers, school and school board to determine how the funding will be used by the music program.

Due to the positive reaction to the Star Prairie event, Hubbell said she's open to the possibility of making the fundraiser an annual event.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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