’80s Flashback event raises funds for Shriners Hospital


Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer

Each year, a look back at a decade defined by music, fashion, movies, and more presents an opportunity to raise funds for the Greenville, S.C., Shriners Hospital, which is the nearest Shriners Hospital location to Macon County. Providing advanced pediatric care in many specialty areas, Shriners Hospitals is a network that includes around two dozen locations nationwide. 

Last year, close to $12,000 was raised during a weekend of festivities. This year’s events surrounding the two-day ‘80s Flashback include: 

 – August 2 – An Evening With Cyndi (Nellie Norris performs as 1980’s icon Cyndi Lauper at Currahee Brewery Co. at 8:30 p.m.; the concert is free, but donations are encouraged).

– August 3 – ‘80s Flashback-themed parade beginning at 10 a.m. in downtown Franklin. (One-year-old Hallie Crisp is the Grand Marshal of the parade and a present patient of the Greenville Shriners Hospital.)

– August 3 – ‘80s Flashback 8K that begins at 6 p.m. at 877 Ulco Drive in Franklin (Registration starts at 5 p.m. Fee is $25 with a t-shirt; $15 without a t-shirt.)

– August 3 – Totally Awesome! ‘80s Flashback Party and Awards Ceremony that features Off The Record, an ‘80s cover band, at Lazy Hiker Brewing Co.  The band starts at 8 p.m. Also on the bill is a silent auction, raffle prizes and more for ticket holders. 

Organizer Dave Lynn explained that the upcoming weekend event is about having fun and remembering the culture of big hair, leg warmers, muscle shirts, and acid wash jeans. 

“I grew up in the ‘80s. The 1960s were great, but the ‘80s was a decade of various things that developed from technology to music that was all over the place.”

Lynn, a career fundraiser, started ‘80s Flashback six years ago, as a way to give back to the Greenville Shriners Hospital because of all it did to help him as a child challenged by cerebral palsy. Originally from Ocala, Fla., but a resident of Franklin for the last 24 years, Lynn, now 45, said, “Because of what they [Shriners Hospital] did for me,  I was able to become a triathlete, be involved in varsity football, and more. I wanted to do ‘80s Flashback to raise money for Greenville Shriners Hospital as a way of helping others to be handi-capable.”

The first year, only a few people participated in ‘80s Flashback, which originally involved only the 8-K run, explained Lynn. “The next year we added a party afterwards and about 125 showed up. By the third year we had turned it into a two-day event and hundreds participated. Last year, probably 800 to 1,000 came out at some time over the two days. Many were from out of town, but we also have local support and involvement.” 

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will be donated to the Greenville Shriners Hospital.