“Mayberry Nights” event to raise money for county DARE Program

Mayberry fans will remember when the Darling family rode into town on their old beat up pick-up truck. Wide-eyed Charlene had a crush on Sheriff Andy Taylor. Her brothers tried their best to get the two hitched, but their hillbilly silliness never seemed to work.

Maggie Peterson played the role of Charlene Darlene from 1963 to 1968 on "The Andy Griffith Show". (publicity photo)

Maggie Peterson played the role of Charlene Darlene from 1963 to 1968 on “The Andy Griffith Show”. (publicity photo)

The actress who played the role of Charlene, Maggie Peterson, and Rodney Dillard, who played the role of Rodney Darling, will be appearing in Troy this Sat., Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. for a benefit concert to raise money for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program.

Peterson and Dillard will be joined by the Mayberry Tribute Artists, reprising the roles of Ernest T. Bass (Phil Fox), Deputy Barney Fife (David Browning), Goober Pyle (Tim Pettigrew), Floyd Lawson (Allan Newsome), Otis Campbell (Kenneth Junkin), Briscoe Darling (Bob Mundy), Millie/E’erllen Brown (Tammy Branch) and Howard Sprague (Jeff Branch.).

Fans will recognize the song, “There Is A Time,” which was written by Rodney Dillard and Mitch Jayne, who also performed on The Andy Griffith Show as Rodney and Mitch Darling. The song was recently picked up and re-recorded by country music star, Alan Jackson. The new CD, The Bluegrass Album, will be released on Sept. 24.

“I was thrilled when my publisher called me and told me the news,” Dillard said. “I am a huge fan of Alan’s. It’s very gratifying to know he appreciated our music.”

The concert is a fundraiser for the Montgomery County D.A.R.E. program. Montgomery County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Branch, organizer of the Mayberry fundraiser and who is the D.A.R.E. officer, teaches the anti-drug curriculum in elementary, middle and high school.

“The schools pay for the books and the county pays my salary,” said Branch, “but to ensure that every child receives the education, I have to raise around $10,000 to actually implement the program.”

Donated funds pay for course supplies, awards and special events which are part of the class curriculum.

During the concert, a silent auction will be held. Items will include Mayberry memorabilia and CDs from The Dillards.

The concert will be held at the First Bank James Garner Center at 210 Burnette St., just off N.C. Hwy. 109 in Troy. Tickets will be available at the door at a cost of $20 (for reserved seats) or $15 (general admission). For information or to reserve seats, call Branch at 704-985-6987.

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