Fourth annual Austinpalooza fundraiser benefits children in need |

Fourth annual Austinpalooza fundraiser benefits children in need

by Caryn Haller

Lee Rocker headlines Saturday's Austinpalooza fundraiser at TJ's Corral.

What started out three years ago as a battle of the bands for GE employees has turned into an all-day music festival.

GE's Bently Nevada and the Carson Valley Inn are sponsoring the fourth annual Austinpalooza event 2-10 p.m. Saturday at TJ's Corral Outdoor Events Center at the Carson Valley Inn to benefit Austin's House.

"This is the only emergency shelter for children in the area, so that's a great spot to put our dollars and support," said Chad Cox, organizer and GE employee. "We started small and what we're trying to do this year is go big. We want this to be Minden's night in the country."

Grammy-nominated performer Lee Rocker takes the stage at 8:30 p.m. Rocker made his mark singing, playing, standing on, spinning and rocking his giant upright bass in the music group The Stray Cats.

Other musical entertainment includes Lavish Green, The Bootleggers, Seymour's Trick Bag and The Engineered Disaster.

"We'd love to sell out TJ's Corral," Cox said.

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Beverages will be available for purchase throughout the event. Food will be available for purchase after 5 p.m.

According to Austin's House board member Conrad Buedel, the annual budget to operate the shelter is $275,000.

"Over 70 percent of our expenses are for payroll to directly provide compassionate care for the children by our loving staff," he added. "The rest of the expenses are items like insurance, groceries and utilities. State fees for each child placed account for about 50 percent of our revenue. We rely on grants and donations for the balance."

Austin's House is the only emergency children's shelter in rural Northern Nevada. The staff provides services and care for up to 10 children from infants to age 18. The children are placed at Austin's House after being removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Austin's House provides the basic living necessities including proper nutrition, hygiene, rest, nurturing, recreation, companionship, life skills training and education.

"There is no limit on the amount of time a child can stay at Austin's House," Buedel said. "We always do what is best for the child. It could be one day, or one year until a suitable placement with a relative or foster home is found. That child is welcome to stay for as long as it takes."

Buedel said community support is crucial to the success of Austin's House.

"The Austin's House Board of Directors and staff would like to extend our sincere thanks to GE Bently Nevada and the Carson Valley Inn for their continued support. These are two of the largest businesses in Douglas County and they set a great example of community service," he said. "There are many good reasons to support Austin's House, but imagine for a moment what it must feel like as a child to be removed from your home due to abuse or neglect. These children literally have no place else to go. Placement at Austin's House allows that child to get some stability, stay in the same school and have hope for a better future. I am proud to say that the loving staff at Austin's House has changed the lives of more than 300 children in crisis since opening in 2007."

Tickets for Austinpalooza with unlimited access are $25 for adults and $15 for children age 12 and younger. They can be purchased at the gate, or online at

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