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Benefit concert to help AJ student

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Multi-genre artist Charlie Farley joins local bands in Horseplay Farms event

By Kayla Vaughn

Rain or shine, Horseplay Farms is raising money Saturday to help a 15-year-old girl achieve her dreams, with a little help from some local bands and country rapper/rocker Charlie Farley.

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Natalie Griffin lost one of her legs in a lawnmower accident when she was 5. The Andrew Jackson High School student has worn a prosthetic leg for the last 10 years, but hopes to purchase a much lighter running blade prosthetic.

Horseplay Farms owner Mandy Tyre has been best friends with Natalie’s mother for more than 20 years and said she has witnessed Natalie’s struggle and her determination first hand.

“When this happened with Natalie, we saw her go through ups and downs with everything but never give up,” Tyre said. “They’ve been my friends forever, but they’re really more like family. We just want to help her out in any way we can.”

Tyre said she is hoping the fundraiser brings in enough money to cover Natalie’s portion of the prosthetic – roughly $7,500. Usually a venue for birthday parties and riding lessons, the 60-acre farm is hosting its first benefit event.

Tyre said she mentioned the idea to Farley, who lives in Arkansas, and he was on board right away.

“This girl is incredible,” Farley said after hearing Natalie’s story. “Her never-say-never attitude is insane. I’m looking forward to being there to perform but also to supporting this great cause.”

Farley’s dad was quadriplegic, so he said he can relate to Natalie’s story a lot, after watching a parent go through some of the same struggles but never give up.

Farley has released multiple albums showcasing his unique country rap melodies.

The mix of genres, he said, comes from listening to a blend of very different artists and bands growing up – everyone from Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and Eminem to Garth Brooks, George Strait and Merle Haggard.

“Listening to all of those growing up has really molded me into the artist I am today,” he said. “I never stay in one lane. I might play my guitar and sing one song, then throw the guitar down and rock out or rap the next. And my lyrics are all about who I am, where I’m from and what we do in the country.”

The artist was leaving a fishing trip on the lake to pick up his kids from school when he spoke with The Lancaster News Thursday.

He said his favorite things to do when he’s not on the road performing are hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

“My kids are the most important, because I’m on the road so much. When I’m here, I want to spend time with them, but I still like to have bonfires and sit around and hang out with my buddies, just enjoying life. I have been to South Carolina quite a bit, and I know it’s the same way over there,” he said.

The Saturday, May 11, event will actually be held at a nearby farm at 3591 Pageland Highway, across from Dixie Food Mart, instead of at Horseplay Farms.

“The community has really been coming together to help us with all of this,” Tyre said. “It’s been great. Don Deese that owns Dixie Food Mart is letting us use his land to hold the concert.”

Preston Keith, another country artist from Rock Hill, will also be joining the lineup Saturday. Keith just released his first album out of Nashville last year.

Local bands Element and Mister Pleaze will perform alongside the two singers as well.

“Support a good cause while having a good time,” Tyre said in a Facebook post about the event. “And in case of rain, we’ve got a barn!”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday on Pageland Highway, with gates open at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Horseplay Farms, 3684 Cimmeron Road, online at www.horseplay-farms.com or at the gate until 8 p.m. the day of the event.

 

Follow Kayla Vaughn on Twitter @kaybvaughn or contact her at (803) 416-8416.