September 1, 2023 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Classy and Grassy, a fixture at Bluegrass on (Lake) Beshear, performs at the event in 2022.  They will return this year for the event’s 10th anniversary. COURTESY OF PICKIN’ LIFE

The Pickin’ Life Project to celebrate 10 years of “Bluegrass on (Lake) Beshear” on Oct. 7


Saving babies’ lives – and parents’ hearts. These are the goals of an annual musical fundraiser for pro-life pregnancy centers in western Kentucky called “Bluegrass on (Lake) Beshear.” This year’s music fest, the 10th annual, will be held – rain or shine – on Saturday, Oct. 7 from noon until 6 p.m. on Lake Beshear, four miles outside of Dawson Springs.

The Pickin’ Life Project – a charitable organization founded in 2021 through the generous bequest of longtime Sts. Peter and Paul (Hopkinsville) parishioner Ron Todd – hosts the fundraiser. Seven Knights of Columbus councils cosponsor the event by providing food, funding and all manner of event support. Other local churches, businesses and individuals provide monetary donations and contribute items for a popular raffle.

Pickin’ Life Project founders Jeff and Laura (Mills) Smith are parishioners of Resurrection Parish in Dawson Springs. Their church was damaged beyond repair by the Dec. 10, 2021 tornado. Rebuilding efforts have only recently begun.

“We are anxious to rebuild our church,” said Jeff.  “But we’ve kept our parish together in our small chapel and events like ‘Bluegrass’ motivate us to continue living our faith and contribute to our community.”

During its nine years, “Bluegrass on (Lake) Beshear” has raised $153,535 for four life-affirming pregnancy care centers in western Kentucky. Alpha PCC in Hopkinsville, Door of Hope in Madisonville and H.O.P.E. Clinic in Benton and Eddyville are the recipients of each year’s funds. The one-day music fest raised an event-record $38,592 last year. In addition, Knights of Columbus involvement netted an additional $7,200 for the pregnancy centers through a new program called Aid and Support After Pregnancy (ASAP). The pregnancy centers are faith-based and depend on private donations to remain open. They receive no government funding because the centers will never refer clients for abortion.

“Bluegrass on (Lake) Beshear” will be held at 307 Island Cove Lane, Dawson Springs, Ky. The grounds open at 11 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and are welcome to bring coolers. Volunteers will help people park and get to the venue and back to their cars. Bluegrass, country, gospel, rock, and blues music begins at noon and will run until 6 p.m. Admission is free.  Hot food and cold drinks will be available for purchase all day. There will be a raffle with multiple chances to win, and two $500 grand prizes.

The Pickin’ Life Project raises money through sponsorships, donations, food, drinks, raffle and merchandise sales. For the third consecutive year, a benefactor will match total donations up to $12,000 – so every donation or purchase will be doubled.

More information about the event and ways to donate can be found on,, or by calling (270) 399-5018.

One hundred percent of money donated goes to the pregnancy care centers and all donations are tax deductible. As the event’s motto says, “Together in Christ – We are Pickin’ Life.”

Originally printed in the September 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
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