By Dawn Scovill, Jupiter, Fla.
Miami, Fla. – On Thursday, April 26, some 2,700 Kid Rock fans descended on Miami for the launch of Kid Rock’s 3rd Annual Chillin’ the Most Cruise. Among them were all nine Admins from the Kid Rock Life Line, a group formed on Facebook last year with the express purpose of providing immediate, essential support, comfort, and encouragement to fellow members of the Kid Rock community in times of natural disaster and personal tragedy.
Despite working closely together for nearly a year online, and after orchestrating CARE efforts for more than twenty friends in need, few of the Admins had met face to face; Katie Carlo and Dawn Scovill are neighbors in Florida, founder Sonia Woolf lives in Virginia, Patty Tharpe and Candy Belew-Schmitz hail from Michigan, Jennifer Belcamino and Lisa Shinn-Jones live in Ohio, Cathy Krege lives in Missouri, and Josee Pinard is in the great white north of Quebec. Needless to say, each greeting was an emotional one.But meeting one another was only one of their successes. Two weeks prior to sailing, the sudden, unexpected death of Robin Knowles, a retail manager in Mancelona, Mich., and dear friend to many in the Kid Rock community, prompted the KRLL to act: a cabin was donated by member Annette Hulsey, and money was raised to help the family with travel expenses, fulfilling Robin’s last wish that her husband and daughter still attend the cruise.
At a pre-cruise party held Wednesday night at South Beach’s World Erotic Art Museum, the KRLL sold merchandise and closed a two month-long raffle, raising a total of $616 for the general fund, with thanks, in part, to raffle winner, Jim Carty, who donated his winnings back to the KRLL. On Sunday afternoon, aboard the ship, Admins represented the group at the Flip Cup tournament (no, they didn’t win, but they felt like they did). Later that night, they met for a surprise birthday dinner to honor the group’s founder. Robin’s husband, Tony, and their daughter, Destiny, attended as well. Woolf was successfully surprised.
Throughout the cruise, Admins were repeatedly approached by thankful KRLL members and CARE recipients. The outpouring of love was everywhere. Following Sunday night’s Q&A, Tharpe even spoke for a few minutes with Kid Rock, personally, using the opportunity to remind him of the organization and its efforts to, among other things, ensure Robin’s husband and daughter were on the boat. (A brief dispute ensued over who would pay for the cabin, Tharpe held her ground.) Rock immediately set up a private meeting with Robin’s family. Ten-year-old Destiny got an autograph. In exchange, she gave the musician her KRLL bracelet.
There isn’t only rock on a Kid Rock cruise. People establish friendships that last a lifetime. Watching Kid Rock play live on a boat AND a private island is exciting, regardless of the weather. Being in a music video is amazing. But spending five days surrounded by the love of this dysfunctional family is priceless, if not life-changing. Just ask an Admin.The Kid Rock Life Line is a non-profit, charitable group whose 501(c)3 status is pending. To donate, please find them on Facebook.