Melissa "Missy" Moyer lost her life on July 23 while on vacation in Maine, and in the wake of a tragic event, her family wanted to celebrate her life while also giving back to the community that Missy was passionate about.
On Oct. 5, "Missy Moyer, Festival of Life," will start at 10 a.m. with registration in Beiter's parking lot, 1125 N. Fourth St., Sunbury, for a benefit motorcycle ride. Megan Aikey, sister of the late Missy Moyer and organizer of the festival, said the funds from the motorcycle ride will benefit a local autism charity, which is what Moyer did for a living. The rest of the funds will benefit her 13-year-old son. The ride will begin at noon and end at the Spyglass Ridge Winery, 105 Carroll Road, Sunbury. The festival will begin with the gates opening at 1 p.m.
Aikey started this festival to remember her sister, Missy.
Supporters have been plastering the area with flyers to advertise the Missy Moyer Festival of Life benefit.
"She didn't want a funeral. She wanted to be remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest. I want to continue celebrating for her," Aikey said.
The day will include food vendors and children's activities, as well as four local bands all coming together to support a good cause. "These bands are all local bands, friends of the family. They were some of my sister's favorite bands that she would go out and see on a regular basis," Aikey said.
Duck Duck Goose, Counterfeit Dreams, Timothy's Burden and Willie Jack and the Northern Light will all perform at the "Missy Moyer Festival of Life."
Butch Showers, drummer for Counterfeit Dreams said he was more than willing to be involved in the festival; Missy was his wife's niece. For the festival, the audience can expect Counterfeit Dreams to bring their mix of '60s and '70s style rock that Showers said is not something every cover band is doing.
"People enjoy that kind of music, nobody's really doing it. Either they are playing earlier or later stuff. That's what we're doing and we're having a good time," Showers said.
The band will covers hits from bands like ZZ Top, Cream, The Rolling Stones and Steppenwolf. "We play hits that make you wanna get up and dance," Showers said.
The band Duck Duck Goose - made up of James Echoles on drums, Rick Norris on lead guitar and vocals, Ian edinger on lead guitar, Jose Teran on percussion and Jane Whitmer on backup vocals - said the benefit was something that was close to their hearts. "The benefit has deep meaning to us because it's a celebration of life of one of our close and dear friends. Missy was a beautiful soul. She was a regular 'goose head' and would tell people, 'If you want to hear good music, check out Duck Duck Goose!' We wanted to show our love and support for her and the family, the same as she did for us," the band said through a group message.
Timothy's Burden, a band that plays modern classic rock, wanted to keep Missy's memory alive any way they could.
"I have been friends with the family for years. We grew up in, and still live in, the same neighborhood. I am sorry for their loss. The families are great people and my heart and prayers go out to them," Johnny B., bassist and vocalist for the band said. "Anything we can do to help keep Missy's memory alive. We will be there, and to help the families and friends celebrate her love of life, her spirit, and her very being. I feel thisis one of the greatest gifts you could give," he said. Timothy's Burden also includes Billy Bones on lead guitar and vocals, Hoj and drums and Joe Joe on rhythm guitar.
The gates will open at 1 p.m. at Spyglass Ride Winery and music will begin with Willie Jack and the Northern Light at 3 p.m. All throughout the day, there will be activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating, magicians and caricature artists. Ticket cost includes a pork sandwhich and snack, but various food vendors will be available. There also is free camping for anyone who would like to stay.
Aikey said there will be two tattoo artists at the festival.
"They're two long-time friends, Chris Booker and Nickem from Body Mods in Sunbury," she said.
"I'm want to show my nephew what people are willing to do So many people are willing to support us and the whole family," Aikey said.
The night will end with a sky lantern release at 10 p.m. in memory of Missy.
To purchase tickets, visit www.spyglassridgewinery.com. They also may be purchased the day of the festival. Visit www.MissyWasHere.com for more information. Megan Aikey may be contacted 556-8151 for any inquiries.