News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Get inked for charity
BY LIANA BAYNE
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival plays fairy godmother to a local charity each year. This year it’ll grant wishes to a fellow fairy.
Co-owners Chance Kenyon and Kenny Brown, along with his wife, Tawnia, the business’s manager, are hoping to raise more than $11,000 during this weekend’s sixth annual “Tattoos for Community” event.
This year, the event will benefit the Fairy Godmother Project, a Fredericksburg nonprofit that assists families of children with cancer.
“We wanted to give back to the area,” Tawnia Brown said.
People can walk in, get a tattoo and know the profit is going straight to the Fairy Godmother Project.
Because the Browns and Kenyon know what it’s like to run a small business; every year of “Tattoos for a Community” has benefited a local charity.
Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival, which has hosted the event every year it’s been open, has given to the food bank; the area CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) program; Fredericksburg SPCA; the University of Mary Washington’s Play Lab, which does autism research; and the Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center.
Tawnia Brown has a background in social work, so she knows how to effectively aid these types of nonprofits. The trio tries to choose charities that are not just local but that relate to their own lives.
Kenny Brown’s father died of cancer several years ago, which prompted this year’s choice to work with an organization that supports cancer patients.
Andie McConnell, program director at the Fairy Godmother Project, said the group helps the families of kids in Fredericksburg who have cancer. The project offers services including lawn care, house cleaning, meal preparation, haircuts, date nights and professional photography sessions.
A daughter of McConnell’s friend was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009. McConnell became like a fairy godmother to the 22-month-old and assisted her family. After that, she began extending her magic wand to other area families.
“We try to take care of things they let go,” McConnell said. The Fairy Godmother Project is assisting six families in the Fredericksburg area and two in the Richmond area.
“We want people to hear about these small nonprofits,” Kenny Brown said.
When Tawnia Brown asked if the Fairy Godmother Project would be interested in being the sponsored charity this year, McConnell said, “I was like, ‘Um, yes!’”
In past years, the tattoo fundraiser has raised $9,000 to $11,000. McConnell said the Fairy Godmother Project would use the funds to help pay for some of the services it provides to the families. Because every member of the organization is a volunteer, all the money raised will go directly to helping out local people.
“It’s hard [to be the parent of a child with cancer], so our goal is to bring as much light into their darkness as possible,” McConnell said.
There will be eight tattoo artists in the shop on Saturday and Sunday, taking walk-in tattoos in first-come, first-served order. Kenny Brown said while many regular customers will come in during the Tattoo for Community weekend to get some work done and donate to the particular charity, they get a mixed crowd.
“A lot of times it’s people touched by the charity,” he said. During the event, Tawnia Brown said, things can get a little busy. “It’s pretty intense,” she said. “The line is out the door when we open.”
For first-timers who might want to get a tattoo this weekend, Brown had one piece of advice: Don’t bring him a photo on a cell phone; print something out to bring in.
“It’s good to have some kind of visual so we have an idea of what you want,” Kenyon said.
And for folks who might be waiting in line for awhile, there will be a bake sale that will also benefit the Fairy Godmother Project.
“In school, I learned about the importance of service in your own community,” Tawnia Brown said.
“It’s good to make more of a difference where you live.”
McConnell said the Fairy Godmother Project is excited to see what happens with the event. “They’re so sweet and generous,” she said, “and we appreciate it.”
The Browns and Kenyon hope the event brings out a crowd this weekend and in the future.
“We’d like it to grow every year,” Kenny Brown said.
What: “Tattoos for Community”
When:Saturday, Aug. 11 from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 12 from noon to 8 p.m.
Info: Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival: TattyShack.com, facebook.com/JBTR13; Fairy Godmother Project: FairyGodmotherProject. org, facebook.com/VAFGP
Liana Bayne: 540/374-5444