One of the most famous scenes from “I Love Lucy” starts in a vat of grapes with an iconic redhead slowly (and uncomfortably) stepping in for the first time. What starts with looks of disgust turns into jovial dancing and stomping, as Lucy Ricardo helps make juice for wine. In typical slapstick comedy fashion, it ends with a grape fight when Lucy’s mentor won’t let her rest. It’s the scene Kreashenz Salon and Spa owner Jacey Rogers had in mind when she introduced the first “grape stomp for cancer,” also known as Kreashenz Krush, to Wilmington.
Rogers started Kreashenz Krush almost four years ago with a fun idea to incorporate an “I Love Lucy”-inspired grape stomp and other family-friendly activities into a day of fun and charity. She chose the Jedrey Family Foundation as the ongoing beneficiary.
“The mission of the Jedrey Family Foundation is to help ease the financial burden of cancer patients,” she explains, “who are experiencing difficulties in paying their medical bills or other essentials and obligations they may have.”
The Jedrey Foundation started with a small golf tournament, “The Jedrey Open,” by the family’s patriarch Dan “Clean Dan” Jedrey back in 1994. Jedrey continued to expand the tournament and other fundraising efforts to help support cancer patients and their families in need. Though “Clean Dan” passed away in February 2001, the foundation continues to hold events in honor of his mission to help others. The Jedrey Family Foundation’s purpose hits close to home for Rogers.
“My son and Jen Jedrey actually played sports [together] for a long time,” she explains. “After a close friend went through tough times while having treatments, it gave me comfort to know that if needed my children or anyone that is local would have this foundation to help and support any types of cancer someone may have.”
This year’s Krush will be at Kreashenz Salon (3145 Wrightsville Ave.) on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Aside from food, music, local artists, and craftsmen, the day is filled with activities and friendly competition. Between an obstacle course, traditional cornhole tournament (1:30 p.m., $25), and the “Minute to Win It” grape stomp (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.), folks have many opportunities to win prizes while contributing to a cause.
encore spoke with Rogers to learn more about her connection to the Jedry Foundation, her love for Lucy and this year’s Krush.
encore (s): On average how much money does Krush raise for the foundation, and what’s your average attendance?
Jacey Rogers (JR): Over the past three years of joining with this foundation, we have raised $9,500 and about 200 [people participate]. . . we hope for more with longer hours this year.
e: Why a grape stomp?
JR: I started the event when I opened my salon and spa. I wanted to do something for others than just [market] my new business. My mother went through cancer, and I know everyone has had someone they love or know that has dealt with cancer. So my mother and I have always loved the [grape-stomping] episode [of] “I Love Lucy.” I thought Wilmington hasn’t ever had one—yes, Duplin does theirs, but not here locally—so why not? It’s fun, it would grow (which it has), raise money, and work with only other local businesses—that’s what keeps this great town the way it is!
e: Can you tell readers more about the grape-stomping aspect of the day? What they’re expected to do, what it feels like, etc.
JR: Well, I can’t reveal the games for the Minute to Win It, [but] there will be five different tasks to do that will end in one person stomping, while another team member pushes the grape hulls around to insure flow of juice. Whichever team fills juice to the line first and takes the best time moves to bracket placement. There will be first-, second- and third- place prizes.
e: Since this is your fourth year, is there anything new or different you’re trying for 2016’s event?
JR: A ton! We have partnered with Cape Fear Sports this year for lots of creativity! Also, we have added food trucks, craft beers, two bands instead of one, including Stoney Creek (which played at our very first one) at 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., and Trifecta from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. There are more vendors with artwork, jewelry, designer clothes, and custom wood tables.
Yehmon 51 will be serving up wings, chicken wraps and ribs that he starts smoking at 6:30 a.m. and will have hot dogs for kids as well. Smart Smoothie is amazing! He will be doing nutritious cold smoothies, and also have icies for the kids!
e: What are some of the prizes and items in the swag bags?
JR: There will be gift certificates to local restaurants, koozies, shirts, salon gifts, and so much more.
e: Do you actually get to have fun at these things or is your “event organizer” hat always on?
JR: [laughs] This year I will make it a point to enjoy it for once! But, yes, I always have my work hat on. I have had more help this year and volunteers as well; without them, this would not be possible!
e: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JR: I always love telling this story: In our second year, there was a family with a young boy that walked up due to hearing the music and curiosity. They didn’t have tickets, so after Jen was showing and explaining the entrance I saw the mom hug her. Wondered what in the world … Her son was battling Leukemia and was in remission, and that the Jedrey Foundation had helped with her son’s medical bills. She was so grateful. I still get goose bumps when I tell it. That is why I continue to do this. I’m a little tired, crazed, stressed, but at the end of it all we are helping a young, middle-aged, or mature-aged locals have their spirits lifted and know it will all be OK!