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Musical lineup announced for annual youth ranch fundraiser

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
July 10, 2013 at 2:10 a.m.

Songwriter Allen Shamblin tells the luncheon crowd at Victoria County Club about the musical lineup for the 32nd annual Bluebonnet Youth Ranch Golf Tournament in October. Shamblin is the fundraiser's host.

When Allen Shamblin isn't sitting in a room looking at his navel and trying to write a song, he's working hard to bring musical talent to the annual Bluebonnet Youth Ranch Golf Tournament.

He related his songwriting process - described above - before telling a large crowd at the kickoff luncheon at the Victoria Country Club about the lineup for this year's event.

Shamblin, a member of both the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association Hall of Fame, serves as the host for the annual fundraising event.

"Some of these are very familiar who have been coming for years," Shamblin said. "There's George Chambers - this will be his 30th year."

When Shamblin mentioned Mundo Earwood, he got emotional. Earwood underwent surgery this week for pancreatic cancer but has vowed to attend the October event.

"That chokes me up, knowing what this man is going through and still wants to be here," Shamblin said.

Fiddlin' Frenchie Burke, another event regular who suffered a stroke last fall, has also told organizers he plans to be in Victoria for the golf tournament.

Other entertainers expected to attend and perform include Janie Fricke, Jan Howard, Clifton Jansky, Gary Morris, Rick Trevino and Jack Ingram, among dozens of others.

Shamblin is a star in his own right, and his songwriting connections help attract performers to the youth ranch fundraiser.

His songwriting career took off in the late 1980s when his song "He Walked on Water" was a No. 1 hit for Randy Travis.

His success has continued with the recent hit, "The House That Built Me" sung by Miranda Lambert.

He also co-wrote "Don't Laugh at Me," which has become the anthem for the anti-bullying movement.

Before the announcement by Shamblin, Claud Jacobs addressed the crowd.

At Jacobs' request, a moment of silence was held for volunteer Paula Nersesian, who died in a car crash in May.

Jacobs, who is back as co-chairman of the golf tournament after a four-year hiatus, thanked those that make the event happen.

"It would not be possible without the volunteers, corporate sponsors and sponsors of our youth ranch," said Jacobs, who is a life director on the ranch board.

Ron Seerden will serve as tournament co-chairman. Pick Instruments of Galena Park is the title sponsor.

The annual golf tournament is Bluebonnet Youth Ranch's major fundraiser for operating expenses.

In 2012, about $125,000 was raised, Jacobs said.

The event, held Oct. 13-14, includes a banquet and auction at Spring Creek Place Event Center and a dinner, dance and concert at Schroeder Hall the following night.

Two golf tournaments, including a celebrity event, are held at the Victoria Country Club.

Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, 4 miles south of Yoakum, opened in 1972 and serves as a long-term, residential home for dependent, abused and neglected children.

Since it opened, the ranch has served about 500 children, said Jacobs.

Shamblin, too, thanked the volunteers and sponsors.

"You've given everything you can give. The only thing else I will ask you to give is your prayers," he said. "I'm looking forward to a great show."

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