POINT PLEASANT — To keep the memory of one young resident alive, the annual Bo Rickard Youth in Gospel Music (YIGM) event will take place once again at the Mason County Fair.
This musical event will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 3:30-5 p.m. on the main stage at the Mason County Fair.
The singers range from “tiny-tots” to 22-year-old individuals and include youth choirs, soloists, duets, and family groupings.
“You will be blessed by these young talents as they share their love for Jesus through song,” said Denise Bonecutter, YICM organizer/founder.
Bonecutter commented the Mason County YIGM was first established in 1992 and originally took place at the Bend Area Gospel Jubilee, but then in 2003 the Mason County Fair opened an annual door for YIGM singers by providing a time slot for them during the fair’s Gospel Day. The event was renamed in 2006 in memory of the late Rickard. He was known as an inspiration to the community. He loved God, his church, and gospel music.
Born July 31, 1981, Rickard was a victim of spin-a-bifida, a rare birth defect, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.
She commented the doctors were amazed he had survived at all. Though Rickard was in and out of hospitals much of his short life, his illness did not dampen his spirit.
“They gave him 16 years at the very most, but God gave Bo 19 years. Bo packed in a lot of living in those 19 years and he made friends wherever he went,” said Bonecutter.
His father Gary Rickard added, “He was such a great child and when anyone met him, they loved him. He had a great personality. In spite of everything, he was joyful and it did people good to know him.”
He was a faithful and dedicated member of the First Church of the Nazarene, served as an usher, and sang in the choir. Rickard was a resident of Point Pleasant.
“In spite of his pain and suffering, he left a legacy of joy and laughter as he continuously praised the Lord. He crossed over into heaven doing what he loved, with his hand on his new Bible, Bo passed away listening to gospel music,” said Bonecutter.
YIGM provides a place for children to be able to showcase their talents and abilities for the Lord, shared Bonecutter.
“It is an awesome opportunity and encouragement for them to grow in their skills,” said Bonecutter. “Over the years, we have witnessed children beginning sometimes standing on a chair to reach the microphone and over the years they develop their God given gifts into full ministries and some have went on to record.”
This musical event is by invitation only and the schedule is preset prior to the Mason County Fair. All singers are asked to remain within a four minute or less song choice and they need to register that song between 2:30- 3 p.m. at the YIGM table in the main stage area the day of the sing.
The first group of performers will gather at the main stage between the campers at 3:15 p.m., giving a welcome at 3:30 p.m. The performances are scheduled as follows: 3:35 p.m., Jackson Ave Baptist Choir; 3:45 p.m., Porter Snodgrass; 3:50 p.m., Riley Springston; 3:55 p.m., The Martindale children (Ezekiel, Elianna, Aviella, and Adaleigh); 4 p.m., Reese Whitt; 4:05 p.m., Alasuandra and Audreanna Reed.
The second group of performers will gather at the main stage between the campers at 4 p.m. The performances are scheduled as follows: 4:15 p.m., Fisherman’s Net Choir; 4:25 p.m., Caleb and Kristin Durst; 4:30 p.m., Jonnie Dawn Waugh; 4:35 p.m., The Blain Boys (Levi, Luke, and Landon); 4:40 p.m., Point of Faith Kidz Choir ; 4:45 p.m, Kaydn Stone.
To conclude the YIGM event, the “Bo Rickard Award” will be presented which is made possible by the Rickard family.
Following, the Harry Rhodes Gospel Sing will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the main stage.
Then at 8 p.m., The Whisnants will take the stage.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson and Denise Bonecutter contributed to this article.