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Annual Music Fest Helps Local Kids in Need

On May 29 and 30, Diocesan Catholic Children's Home Center for Children and Families will host their third annual DCCH Music Fest at their facility on Orphanage Road in Ft. Mitchell. The cost to attend the music festival is $5 with all the proceeds going to supplement the cost of caring for the kids in need that live there.  
"We are state funded but it does not cover the whole cost of caring for the kids," said John Carney, Development and Events Coordinator at DCCH. "I've seen kids come into our program with literally just the clothes on their back; that's all they come with. Our agency has to provide clothing for these kids. We provide them each with their own bedroom, new shoes. Obviously, we feed them three meals a day and two snacks. Everything it takes to raise a child, we are doing for these kids, so a fundraiser like this is to help supplement the cost that isn't covered by the state."  
The DCCH Music Fest will have a little different feel to it this year compared to the past events. Gone are the casino gaming tents and carnival rides and more emphasis will be put on the music, food and drinks featured at the festival. 
"This is one our bigger fundraisers and this is the first year where we are going entirely with just music, food, and drinks. What it used to be in the past was a traditional church festival, but we aren't really tied to any parish. We kind of saw our numbers going down over the past couple of years and decided to change it to offer something new for people to come to," Carney said.  
One of the big hits from a year ago was bringing in local craft beer brewers like Mad Tree, and DCCH has expanded that list this year to include Ei8ht Ball and Rhinegeist breweries as well.  There will also be wine and bourbon tastings. 
There is no shortage on food either. This year, there will be Cuban Pete Sandwiches, Salvadore's Pizzaria, Buona Vita meatballs, a burger and fries bar, Streetpop popsicles, Mick Noll's Famous Brats & Metts, and the Dixie Club Cafe's pretzels and beer cheese.  
As for the music, Friday is primarily rock and roll groups and Saturday is country, bluegrass, folk.
On Friday, performing bands include The Menus, Pete Dressman, The Mitchells, and more. On Saturday, it will be Jamison Road, Carter New Band, Young Heirlooms and more. 
DCCH provides residential care, foster care, adoption, outpatient therapy and training services to area children, family and residents. Typically the kids that enter into the program have experienced an upbringing of hardship.  
"Unfortunately, the kids here are victims of child abuse and neglect," Carney said. "The process involves removing the child from the parent so then obviously these kids need a place to stay and that's when they come into our care. Sadly for the vast majority of these kids their parents have their rights terminated to where the kids are not allowed to go back and see them. It depends on what the courts decide."
Once the kids are in the program, however, DCCH makes strides to make the children feel welcomed to the program and work with them over time to provide a brighter and safer future once they transition out of DCCH.
"You can imagine what it would be like to be 10, 11, 12 years old and not knowing anybody and you're yanked away from your family and you come to this agency," Carney said. "We have the greatest staff that are there to greet them and to take care of them. As soon as they see this child, they begin to open up and the kids see that there are adults out in the world that do care about them and you can really see the life come back into them. They want to do well and they want to be with the people that care about them. So then the natural transition is to move them into a foster family and they're already warmed up to the idea of people caring about them. 
"When these kids get discharged from our program, and they're usually only here from six to twelve months, they're walking away with a couple of suitcases of clothes, they have a full belly and they know that they are coming from a safe environment and going to another safe environment."
The DCCH Music Fest runs from 6:30-11:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night, rain or shine. More information about the festival can be found on the DCCH Music Fest Facebook page.
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor/Image via Facebook