By Kevin C. Hall

MOULTRIE -- An annual event turned into a benefit concert the weekend of May 22, and it raised $6,000 to help a cancer victim.

Musicians -- many of whom have performed professionally -- have come together for 34 years at the Pad Reunion Jam on Rusty Hanna's farm on Highway 111 in Colquitt County. This year they came together for a cause: Helping Hanna's sister, Tammy Neal, who has breast cancer.

About 200 people came out to hear the bands, Hanna said, and many local companies donated to the effort.

"I've gotten lucky to know so many people in bands to put together something like that," said Hanna, who said he is not a musician himself.

The event was free but was open only to those invited. The musicians donated their time, Hanna donated his land and the labor to set the event up, and companies donated the equipment needed. That means every bit of the money raised came from donations, and every bit of it went to Neal.

"Six thousand dollars is pretty good for a private function," said Hanna, who thanked the 30 corporate donors and numerous individual givers.

This isn't the first time the group has raised money for charity. In 1992, $10,000 was raised for another cancer victim, Zana Culpepper, who needed a marrow transplant, Hanna said.

"We're going to try to choose something from here on to do it for," he said.

He's already seeking a worthy cause for next year's event. Anyone who'd like to apply can contact him at 5 Woodridge Road, Moultrie GA 31768.

"It's not hard to find somebody who needs help," he said.

Any musician interested in being in next year's jam can contact Hanna at the same address.

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