Lyme in the South Music Fest was sheer magic! Thank you to the enormous collaboration of so many folks’ efforts, energy, talent, time and endless details that went into creating this beautiful event. Melissa Bell, Greg Kirk, Amy Boggs, and a troop of volunteers worked for months masterfully pulling off the first Lyme disease fundraiser and awareness festival in Florida.
I have to admit I am smitten with Jacksonville, Florida. I never expected this port city to be so enchanting – pristine weather, sunny skies, and a glimmering skyline welcoming us all. Our hosts’ gracious hospitality filled us with care and charm. My new posse of ‘girlfriends’ feel like kindred spirits to me, beautiful ladies who synergistically resonate over the Lyme disease atrocity.
Thanks to Dr. Kerry Clark for your brilliant, tireless tick studies; to Dr. Shirley Hartman for being wise enough to face the illness, and integrating so many recovery tools in your practice. Thank you to Dr. Terry Hashey for your open-minded and patently generous heart. Thank you to the 300+ people who came to the festival, some in wheelchairs, some using canes, drained with fatigue, to share with us all! Your spirits are mighty and your willingness to support this cause is ultimately life-changing on so many levels.
The venue was lovely, an open air restaurant and deck perched on the riverside, with food and beverages, a stage, and a great view. Newspapers, TVs, media attended. CNN coverage! The Lyme in the South Music Festival made a BIG footprint in the sand! We blew the lid open on the denial of Lyme disease existing in Florida and other Southern states. Every person I met at the Fest either had firsthand experience with Lyme disease or were there in allegiance. The case numbers are climbing. As Dr. Clark and Dr. Hartman pointed out – misdiagnosis is extreme!
Greg Kirk did a masterful job of coordinating the talent. Our performance schedule was dynamite. The seven hours flew by and seemingly without a hitch (though I know “behind the scenes” fires were being snuffed out). Our lineup was stellar:
- 3:45 PM – Speaker: Melissa Bell of the Florida Lyme Disease Association
- 4:00 PM – Greg Kirk of the Zen Engines
- 5:00 PM – Speaker: Dr. Shirley Hartman of the Mandarin Wellness Center
- 5:30 PM – Piano Rock Musician Alisa Turner
- 6:30 PM – Speaker: Dr. Kerry Clark of the University of North Florida
- 7:00 PM – Les Stroud of the “Survivorman” TV Series
- 8:00 PM – Speaker: Author and activist Katina Makris of Lyme Light Radio
What an honor to be the keynote speaker, bringing hope and healing insight to our audience. As a recoveree and seasoned natural medicine practitioner, I aim to ignite your heart and will; then you can move mountains, personally and beyond.
Our musical performers were all phenomenal! As these Ticked OFF Festivals make their way around the country in the upcoming years, I tell you now – ATTEND! You will be blown away by the talent, the information, and the magic of synergy.
Our music opened with Gregg Kirk of the Zen Engines band, bringing us his beautiful new music, now healed from Lyme and attuned by his John of God experiences. Alisa Drake is a miracle. Atrociously stricken, bedridden, and now cured, she played her heart out. I was so moved by her exquisite songs and her truly lovely countenance. Bless you both.
Les Stroud is dynamite! Known for his blockbuster TV wilderness show “Surivorman,” I never knew Les is also a brilliantly talented songwriter, musician, and charismatic performer. He rocked the house – “Flying” was an exceptionally mesmerizing song.
Our closing act was the very renowned Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens. Besides his phenomenal guitar playing and songs, Pat is a hilarious storyteller. He held us in rapt attention, one vignette falling from his tongue after another.
Now soothed in Floridian night air, Jacksonville’s skyline filled with twinkling lights and starlight bathed us from above. I felt attuned to higher purpose as the “team” gathered on the top deck for a photo op. There we were – advocates, patients, musical performers, speaker, doctors, and real human beings, strung together in fellowship and cause from all walks of like and backgrounds, we banded together for this special festival and fundraiser. I felt grace, and in all honesty, I saw my future laid before me – crystal clear.
Healing, hope, education, breaking down walls and hard work are my chords to strike as the months and years ahead unfurl. More Ticked OFF Music Fests to come! “Lyme Light Radio” to continue soaring around the globe, another book to complete, and joy, beauty, and love to be my wings of flight!
Thank you Florida Lyme Disease Association, Ticked OFF Music Fest, lovely Jacksonville friends and all the attendees. You are beautiful, wise people! And an extra dose of love to my sister, Barbara, who drove up from South Florida to join her big sister with the “Lyme Light” of change.
Visit Facebook to see photos – what a spectacular weekend. It goes down in my history book, for certain.
Katina I. Makris