'Birthday Bash' benefits Good Samaritan Center

The Good Samaritan Center’s Cheryl Moore, diabetes educator Audelia De La Cruz and Barbara Gainer worked the gate at Waylon’s Birthday Bash at Luckenbach recently. Luckenbach hosts the event every year on Father’s Day in memory of Waylon Jennings. Proceeds from the event benefit The Good Samaritan Center’s diabetes program. Also volunteering her time, but not pictured, was Regina Rosenwinkel. — Submitted photo

Funds raised at Waylon’s Birthday Bash in Luckenbach on Father’s Day will go to help diabetes patients at The Good Samaritan Center.

The event raised $1,789, all of which will go toward purchasing blood sugar testing strips that will be given to the center’s patients at no charge.

Jennings, who brought national attention to Luckenbach with his song “Luckenbach Texas,” passed away in February 2002 due to complications from diabetes.

Now, Luckenbach honors Jennings and all of his songs by hosting this annual celebration of his life and music.

“Luckenbach first came to us with the idea of supporting our diabetic patients with their proceeds from this event about 10 years ago,” said John Willome, executive director of The Good Samaritan Center. “I think they wanted to find a way to give back and honor a man who meant so much to them.”

The Good Samaritan Center is a charitable medical and dental clinic that helps low-income, uninsured families in Gillespie County as well as Blanco, Kimble and Mason counties.

Willome said they have over 300 active diabetic patients.

The center’s diabetes educator and community health worker, Audelia De La Cruz, along with three of the center’s volunteers, helped work the ticket booth at the event.

“It was terrific to see all of the support we received from everyone who came out,” said De La Cruz. “It was a suggested donation of $10 per person. Some people couldn’t pay it, but they gave what they could. Others gave even more than that. It was a blessing to see how much both Luckenbach and its customers care about their neighbors.”

Bobbi McDaniel, manager of operations at Luckenbach, shared a little of Luckenbach’s vision for the event. “The Good Samaritan Center in Fredericksburg provides a much needed service for those in our community,” she said.

“Each year, Waylon’s Birthday Bash at Luckenbach continues to draw a huge, generous audience who sit and relax under the old oak trees and enjoy the great music provided with Thomas Michael Riley,” McDaniel said. “We’re happy to have this benefit and help support The Good Samaritan in providing diabetes test kits and other supplies for their patients.”

The blood sugar testing strips are an important part of the center’s ability to help its patients self-manage their disease, De La Cruz said.

“The most important thing we can do for our patients is empower them to help themselves,” explained De La Cruz. “We used to have to charge patients for the strips, but thanks to gifts like this from Luckenbach, Bethany Lutheran Foundation and the LCRA Employees’ United Charities, we can give away free meters and all of the strips the patients need. It doesn’t cost them anything to check their own blood sugar at any time.”

For more information about The Good Samaritan Center or about qualifying for their services, visit their website at www.goodsamfbg.org, visit them Monday through Thursday at 140 Industrial Loop in Fredericksburg or call 830-990-8651.

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