Neighborfest raises money for end-of-life care for uninsured, under-insured people

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − An evening of live music, family activities and food is planned when the second annual Neighborfest fundraiser takes place this weekend in Farmington.

Performances by Black Velvet and Desert Thunder are scheduled. Cornhole games will be available, and the Red Rocks Roadhouse and Primal Swine food truck will have food for sale. Clancy's Irish Pub and Cantina will be operating a cash bar.

The event is designed to raise money for the Basin Good Neighbor Foundation of the Basin Health Companies, with the funds being used to cover the costs of hospice services for uninsured or under-insured people with a terminal illness.

Thomas Buoy, marketing and communications specialist for the Basin Health Companies, said the inaugural version of Neighborfest that was held last year was a success, drawing approximately 250 people to Wines of the San Juan, where it was held, and raising approximately $4,000.

"We wanted to try out a different venue this year," Buoy said, explaining that organizers hope that holding the event in Farmington this year will help draw a larger crowd.

Buoy said the foundation, which was established in 2018 by Basin Health Companies CEO and owner Vince Moffitt, has seen demand for its services in northwest New Mexico rise steadily since its inception. He said anyone in a state of financial hardship who needs end-of-life care can reach out to the foundation for help, and their care provider need not be the Basin Health Companies.

The Zia Chicks perform during the inaugural Neighborfest last year at Wines of the San Juan. This year's event takes place this weekend at the Lions Wilderness Park Amphihteater.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.5% of people in San Juan County are uninsured − a figure that is higher than the 11.2% of New Mexicans overall who lack coverage of the 10.4% of Americans who are uninsured, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Those who wish to support the mission of the foundation but won't be able to attend this weekend's event can donate on a one-time or recurring basis through the foundation's website, Buoy said. The foundation also seeks volunteers to provide assistance in areas that often are not covered by insurance, including providing care for pets and plants, running errands and performing chores, offering friendship or companionship for clients, and performing community outreach, according to the website.

Neighborfest is being supported by a grant from the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation, with that funding being used to compensate the bands that are performing, Buoy said.

Neighborfest kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Lions Wilderness Park Amphitheater, 5800 College Blvd. in Farmington. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at basingoodneighbor.org. Call 505-325-8231 for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.