‘Pickin’ n Grin­nin’ cel­e­brates 18 years

Grand cel­e­bra­tion planned for Oct. 12

The Progress-Index - - ENTERTAINMENT - Con­trib­uted Re­port

DINWIDDIE — The sec­ond Fri­day night of ev­ery month for the last 18 years, Roger Buf­falow and The Glo­ry­bound Singers along with The Dinwiddie Di­a­monds have spon­sored an open mic gospel night for the Dinwiddie County com­mu­nity.

On Fri­day, Oct. 13, 2000 a near tragedy al­most kept Roger Buf­falow, the MC and lead singer of the Glo­ry­bound Singers from start­ing the first Pickin’ n Grin­nin’ for the Lord open mic gospel event. Buf­falow nearly cut off his fin­ger while hook­ing up the band trailer pre­par­ing for the event. Through his ded­i­ca­tion to the event as many as 150 peo­ple have at­tended in a sin­gle night.

In the last 18 years, the “Pickin’ n Grin­nin’ for the Lord” open mic has seen ap­prox­i­mately 50 dif­fer­ent per­form­ers. Var­i­ous gospel bands, solo per­form­ers, po­ets, co­me­di­ans and ac­tors per­form songs, re­cite po­etry, and act out skits.

Pickin’ n Grin­nin’ for the Lord has wit­nessed tal­ent from near and far, in­clud­ing Ann Markham of North Carolina, The Bandy Fam­ily of Salem, Vir­ginia, The Glo­ry­bound Singers of Dinwiddie, The Whirley Broth­ers, Good News Gospel, Bar­bara Fos­ter, In His Time, Sue Bence, and many more.

Lo­cal acts like South Hill’s Hal­lelu­jah Sound, Bill New­man and True Spirit from Prince Ge­orge, Woody Rack­ley, Lit­tle Richard Tay­lor, Ryan Holden, Pas­tor Faye LaPrade of Lawrenceville, Spirit of Youth of Peters­burg, Voices of Heaven from Black­stone, Pas­tor Earnest “Chuck Berry” Far­rar, Jerry Lee Davis of Ma­toaca, David Ever­hart of South Ch­ester­field, co­me­dian Bill Odom of Hopewell, and even pro­fes­sional steel gui­tar player Al Bashem of Ok­la­homa have been in at­ten­dance. The event has also in­spired peo­ple who have never per­formed or played an in­stru­ment to find and nur­ture their tal­ent.

Through­out Pickin’ n Grin­nin’s 18 years, par­tic­i­pants have not only re­ceived God through mu­sic, but new friends were made, and some even found love; such as Mike and Kerry Shell, who met and be­gan dat­ing in 2005 and mar­ried in 2006.

The event has be­come a once-a-month fam­ily re­u­nion and com­mu­nity gath­er­ing. As with many fam­i­lies, the com­mu­nity has lost sev­eral loved ones such as 11-time state cham­pion do­bro player Robert Whirley, Wal­ter Bandy, Ann Markham, Pas­tor Gary Atkins of Dinwiddie Bap­tist Church, Mar­jorie Walker, Booty Cheek, Mer­lin Wilkin­son, Spike and Alice Mait­land, Char­lotte Gar­rett, Ed­die Pearce and more.

Pickin’ n Grin­nin’ for the Lord has reached out to help the com­mu­nity when they can. Through­out the 18 years, the event has sup­ported Re­lay For Life of Dinwiddie/ Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety by rais­ing over $10,000. It has put to­gether many ben­e­fits to serve those in need in the com­mu­nity. This event also takes the time to honor vet­er­ans and thank them for their ser­vice.

On Oct. 12 at 6 p.m., The Pickin’ n Grin­nin’ for the Lord open mic will host an 18 year an­niver­sary grand cel­e­bra­tion at the East­side En­hance­ment Cen­ter, 7301 Boy­d­ton Plank Road in Dinwiddie. Roger Buf­falow and The Glo­ry­bound Singers, The Dinwiddie Di­a­monds, and Dinwiddie Parks and Recre­ation in­vite ev­ery­one who has shared and en­joyed tal­ent over the last 18 years to come back share and en­joy their tal­ent with ev­ery­one once again.

If you sang a song, played an in­stru­ment, read a poem, told a joke or acted in a skit, come back and help with the grand cel­e­bra­tion. All are wel­come.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call Roger Buf­falow at 804469-4884 or Kerry Shell at 804-469-4920.

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