Closing the festival gates: Homer's Backyard Ball ending after 2 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Closing the festival gates: Homer's Backyard Ball ending after 20 years

Homer's Backyard Ball (Source: KFDA) Homer's Backyard Ball (Source: KFDA)
Homer's Backyard Ball (Source: KFDA) Homer's Backyard Ball (Source: KFDA)
Homer's Backyard Ball (Source: KFDA) Homer's Backyard Ball (Source: KFDA)
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Homer’s Backyard Ball is a summer staple in the Texas Panhandle.

"Started some 20 years ago, literally in my backyard,” said Travis Homer, founder of Homer’s Backyard Ball and Foundation.

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Homer's Backyard Ball has brought together community members, musicians and more, all for a good cause.

"It just kind of kept growing to a music festival and probably the last 18 years, we've been raising money,” said Homer.

Throughout the years, more than $1.5 million has been raised from the event for children's charities in the area.

"We just realized that in Amarillo there are so many local children's charities and we just couldn't give to one,” said Homer. “We wanted to give to all of them."

While it started off in a partnership with Make-A-Wish, Homer's Foundation branched out to other charities, most recently serving the Shriners, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the Turn Center and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.

"That's a nice little bonus for those charities to be able to do maybe special projects or continue to do the projects they already have going on, so it was a fun experience to get to be a part of that,” said Lara Escobar, Executive Director of CASA in Amarillo.

Twenty years later, the Backyard Ball is closing its festival gates for good.

"It's been a good 20 years,” said Homer. “I was young when we started and it takes a lot of, people don't realize how much work."

Homer says the hard work of planning and unpredictable weather were reasons for the decision to end it.

"Don't get me wrong. The mud was fun times, the blowing wind was fun times,” said Homer. “Trying to plan for the weather, it was always hard."

Understanding the ups and downs of charity events, Escobar says the event's goodwill will be missed.

"It's been a very charity-minded event,” said Escobar. “Sometimes those things happen and they run their course and you kind of just have to adapt and go onto the next things, so we will miss it."

Homer says this isn't the end of the foundation's fundraising in the Panhandle.

"We're just kind of looking to see what we're going to do,” said Homer. “We're not closing the doors, we're just trying to find what our next niche is in Amarillo."

Homer says the support of Amarillo has been great over the years.

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