Millsboro LL beneficiary of Springtime Jamboree’s benefit pitch

30 Jamboree gerald hocker and dude

State Sen. Gerald Hocker, left, started the Springtime Jamboree 34 years ago in efforts to support the community. The benefit event showcases country, western and gospel musical talent and comedy.

DAGSBORO – Springtime in southern Delaware means robins, that distinct farm-fresh smell of country air and the jamboree.

Thirty-four years running, this year’s Springtime Jamboree hits the stage at Indian River High School April 8-9.

Showtime for Friday and Saturday performances is 7 p.m., with pre-show entertainment by Ron Howard on piano at 6:30 p.m.

Springtime Jamboree is down-home, family-friendly entertainment designed to spotlight country, western and gospel music and comedy, all linked to a charitable community give-back.

Jamboree proceeds from ticket, video and program advertising this year will benefit the Millsboro Little League, which has hit a back-to-back double. Millsboro Little League was also last year’s recipient.

The 2014 jamboree benefitted the Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department. Delaware Hospice was the beneficiary of the 31st jamboree in 2013.

The jamboree was founded 34 years ago by now Sen. Gerald Hocker, long before his tenure in the Delaware General Assembly as a state representative and senator.

“The first show was to raise money for the Lower Sussex Little League,” said Gregory Hocker, one of Sen. Hocker’s children who are among the performers. “It’s a good fundraiser for nonprofit organizations that my father chooses to benefit. We’ve raised a lot of money.”

Over the years, the jamboree has benefitted local fire companies, Little League organizations, Lions International and Delaware Hospice.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $14 at Hocker’s Super Center, Clarksville, G & E Super Market, Ocean View, and Hocker’s Grocery & Deli.

Tickets at the door are $15.

The event thrives on the “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” philosophy.

“There are a lot of returning performers,” said Gregory Hocker, the drummer with the Jamboree Boys that will be “opening up the show as they have for 34 years.”

Other scheduled performers:

  • Miss Delaware Brooke Mitchell;
  • Grace Otley;
  • Beth Cahall;
  • Tyler Bare;
  • Dirt Road Outlawz lead singer George Jenkins;
  • Jaime Parker;
  • Stephanie Wilkinson;
  • Linda Magarelli;
  • Rebecca Wilson;
  • Danita Robinson;
  • Floyd Megee Jr and Charlie Lynch;
  • The Hap Tones;
  • Johnny Stephens and Scott Evans comedy routines,

George Keen is the emcee.

It’s an all-volunteer effort.

“Honestly we couldn’t do it without the performers,” said Gregory Hocker. “They are the ones that make the show happen.”

The Jamborees Boys include Sen. Gerald Hocker on bass guitar; Trent Hitchens, lead guitar; Dr. Bill Ulmer, lead guitar; Reggie Helm, rhythm guitar; Gerry Hocker, steel guitar; Gregory Hocker, drums; and Jimmy Holston, lead singer.

Gregory Hockey, now 32, first took the stage when he was eight. “I sang. Then I started playing drums I believe when I was 9,” he said.

The Hocker brothers note that their sister, Ms. Cahall, a Nashville recording artist will be driving home from Tennessee.

“Last year was the first show she had missed since she was four years old. She sang in show for the first time when she was four,” said Gregory Hocker. “Ever since then she sang in that show, but last year was the first time she missed it because she had just had her first child.”

Shows usually runs about three hours.

“We try our best to have it over by 10 p.m., but sometimes we run longer. It all depends,” said Gregory Hocker. “It is a night full of local entertainment and everybody seems to have a great time. It’s something that really helps the community. And as long as the public keeps supporting us then we will keep having the Springtime Jamboree.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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