Purple Hatter's Ball Benefits Rachel Morningstar Foundation

Momma Margie at Purple Hatter's Ball at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Momma Margie talks about Rachel and her foundation
before releasing a butterfly on Saturday of Purple Hatter's Ball.

Love inspired by loss

On May 8-10, I once again had the pleasure of attending at festival at Florida's beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. This time it was the eighth annual Purple Hatter's Ball, celebrating the life of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, a 23-year-old Florida State University graduate who was killed during a failed drug sting run by the Tallahassee Police Department.

For three days (plus a Thursday night pre-party) many people who'd known Rachel and many who hadn't gathered together to honor her memory by sharing in one of her favorite pastimes: seeing live music. Ticket sales benefited the Rachel Morningstar Foundation, which works to educate the public on the dangers of acting as a confidential informant and establish guidelines for law enforcement officers engaged with confidential informants.

The lineup featured Lotus, Nahko and Medicine For the People, Toubab Krewe, The Werks, Random Rab, Greenhouse Lounge, The Malah, and many more. Over 15 live painters, including Alex and Allyson Grey, Christopher Morphis, Emily Kell, and Jerry Cahill were on site over the weekend. The Yoga and Arts Village held space for healing and reflection through workshops and interactive art installations.

Momma Margie (Rachel's mother) took the stage on Saturday to speak of Rachel's life, her death, and all those who had come together to make the festival possible.

As 24 butterflies were released from their envelopes - 23 to represent each year of Rachel’s life and one for the year to come - I felt the love and community that is always present at Suwannee, and I also felt the loss of a radiant soul taken too soon from this world. I didn't know Rachel, but I believe I know her spirit after attending my first Purple Hatter's Ball. It was reflected in every eye, every smile, every hug, every kind word exchanged. So for that I say thank you, Rachel, for bringing us together in love once again.

Take a moment to visit the Rachel Morningstar Foundation's website to learn more about Rachel's story and to educate yourself on the risks and rights of confidential informants, because, as Momma Margie said, "Knowledge is power."

Purple Hatters Ball | May 8-10 | Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla.Here are a few great moments I...
Posted by Live Music Is Evolving on Friday, May 15, 2015


Thandiwe Ogbonna is a freelance writer based in Orlando, Florida. She writes for The Untz, and has written for DubEra.com, NoDepression.com, and Home Grown Music Network.

Comment and share!

Labels: , ,