Communities are defined by the residents that inhabit them. Countless stories have been told about the benevolent endeavors of one particular Ellicottville native who passed away several years ago. Michael Kerns, whose legacy continues to define how he lived as a person, gave much back to the community he loved. Voodoo Moon is a tribute to that legacy.
Slated for Saturday, Aug. 24 at John Harvard’s Cabana Bar & Pool Complex at Holiday Valley, and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ellicottville, Voodoo Moon offers a chance to gather and celebrate Kerns’ life and legacy. With food from multiple restaurants in town and unbelievable silent auction prizes, it’s one summer event that you just do not want to miss out on.
Started in 2004 as a golf tournament and dinner, the event has morphed into something unique. In 2009, it was changed to its current format - with the first two years dubbed as “Another Day in Paradise,” and renamed Voodoo Moon last year.
Greg Cappelli, one of the more prominent members behind the event’s planning, said the event has had an incredible reception from the community.
“It’s always been a sellout,” Cappelli said, when asked if the event had grown throughout the years. “Typically, there are around 180 people there. But more always want to try and buy tickets and come support it.”
Supporters and vendors of the event include the Weast Agency, Weed-Ross, Phil Moyer Insurance, Dina’s, Watson’s, Balloons, EBC, Tips Up Cafe, Silver Fox Steakhouse, Riley’s, Meyer’s Steakhouse, Gin Mill and The Birdwalk. Tom Kneeland of Tom’s Mom’s Cafe also includes his table of cakes, cookies and other awesome desserts.
The silent auction, which has some really outstanding prizes, is one of the main ways the event raises money. You can win tickets to the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, bikes and numerous other baskets. And for all of you wine lovers, there will also be rare wine offered in a live auction.
As great as the food will be and as awesome of a cause it supports, one of the most fun aspects of the event is Lee Ron Zydeco. Playing an upbeat-tempo, Cajun-style brand of music, Lee Ron and the Hot Tamales add to the persona of the Voodoo theme.
Mike Kerns, Jr. said that Voodoo Moon is a perfect tribute for his dad.
“He loved helping people, especially kids and the arts. I’m glad that we can have an event that continues to benefit the things he supported. Never doing it for publicity, he was the most selfless man I’ve ever known.”
The Rotary Club puts this event on to continue helping those most in need from our community. From providing gas cards to paying for local kids’ lunches at school, there is no group that the Club won’t help.
“We help out all of those that are having financial difficulties in our community,” Cappelli said. If a mother is having trouble paying for something because her baby was premature, then we’ll extend a hand. We’ll put on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for those who aren’t as fortunate.”
The Ellicottville Memorial Library is another facet of the community the Michael Kerns event will benefit. It pays for a pile of kids programs, including reading, computers and other neat events the library puts on.
“Mike was very quietly philanthropic, and that’s the legacy we wish to continue, Cappelli said when asked of Kerns’ commitment to the community. “But we don’t broadcast it or ask for anything in return. That’s what made Mike such a special person.”
Tickets for Voodoo Moon are $65 per person and can be purchased in many local outlets or by calling Kegs at 716-699-8758.