Mockfest: Free music, community and good vendors, a chance to make history

Published 3:07 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

We are at a pivotal moment in the fight against polio, and you have the chance to be a part of history.

Only once in the history of our world has a disease been completely wiped out: smallpox in 1980.

Today, polio stands on the brink of eradication, and it could happen within the next year with your help.

Rotary clubs worldwide are uniting to raise funds for the final push to eradicate polio once and for all.

On Friday, Sept. 22, The Mocksville Rotary Club will host Mockfest in the parking lot beside Swicegood Auction in Downtown Mocksville.

A concert featuring Mel Jones & His Bag of Bones, as well as Fairfield Bluegrass, starts at 5 p.m. Food will be available for purchase from the Rotary tent. Additional food vendors on-site will contribute to the cause.

Collection buckets will be passed around during the free concert to raise funds for End Polio Now.

Polio was once one of the most dreaded diseases in the United States. Thanks to vaccination efforts, the polio virus has been eliminated in this country. However, there was a time when polio affected the lives of many individuals in Davie County.

One such individual is Rebecca Osbourne, a longtime resident of the Cooleemee area, wife to Edgar, and mother of Britt, who owns Osborne Tire & Automotive in Mocksville. What you may not know about Rebecca is that she contracted polio in 1948 when she was 11 months old.

Polio robbed Rebecca of her ability to walk until she was 4 years old, and even then, she had to wear heavy braces and special shoes.

She vividly remembers her childhood visits to physical therapy twice a week, where she would be lowered into a whirlpool to stimulate circulation in her partially paralyzed legs.

At home, her parents and siblings worked tirelessly with her, encouraging her to get out and play despite her ongoing pain and fatigue so she could function as she grew older.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for polio once it takes hold in the body. To this day, Rebecca continues to battle the effects of the disease, including asthma, bronchitis, and immune system issues caused by the virus, which attacks nerves throughout the body.

She attributes her success in managing the symptoms of polio to her unwavering faith, the power of prayers, and her determination in physical therapy.

Since 1988, there has been a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. Only two countries remain polio-endemic: Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year. As long as poliovirus continues circulating, all countries are at risk.

Between the two musical performances, Roy Collette will speak. Roy, the son of Judy and Bill Collette, resides in Greensboro. Many remember Bill’s downtown Mocksville pharmacy back in the 1950s. Although Bill has passed away, he faced the effects of the polio virus head-on to become a successful small business owner. He was also a passionate advocate for and contributor to the development of the ballfields at Rich Park.

Roy will speak on behalf of his family and father, urging everyone to support the eradication of polio.

The concert will conclude at 7:30 p.m., allowing ample time to make it to the Davie High football game.

A $3 donation can fully protect a child against polio.