‘Duck Dynasty’ star to appear, raise money for local center

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, far left, will make appearances in Gadsden July 13. Two speaking engagements at Wallace Hall will raise money for "Rainbow of Hope."

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Phil Robertson of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” is coming to Gadsden July 13 for public appearances, including two speaking engagements to benefit “Rainbow of Hope,” a women’s substance and alcohol abuse recovery center in Glencoe.

Robertson will speak at Wallace Hall on the Gadsden State Community College Campus at 4 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. July 13. Tickets are $20 and go on sale at 12 p.m. Friday (April 26).

Robertson also will sign autographs at Martin’s Family Clothing in Rainbow City from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets for the Martin’s appearance will be handled through the store.

Rainbow of Hope is a transitional home for women over 18 who are recovering from drugs and alcohol. The facility offers housing, mentoring, rehab and assistance with job placement.

Betty Hale said she was ecstatic that a prominent figure like Robertson would come to help with fundraising for the center.

The Robertson family are the stars of a wildly popular reality show on A&E. Phil Robertson spent 25 years making duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees.

According to the A&E website’s  description of the show, it features a Louisiana bayou family living the American dream as they operate a thriving business while staying true to their family values and lifestyle. Since the show’s premiere, the Robertsons have been busy being America’s favorite big, bearded, camo-clad family. Despite their modest lifestyle and homes in the backwoods, this close-knit family has made a fortune on duck calls by turning a backyard business into a multi-million dollar sporting empire…

He created the Duck Commander duck call in 1972 and formed the Duck Commander Company the next year – this after playing college football at Lousiana Tech University and being drafted by the NFL. Robertson reportedly quit football because it interfered with duck season.

Hale said Rainbow of Hope was born after she and friend were ministering to women in jail and were troubled by the recidivism rate. She said they asked some of the young women why they ended up coming back to jail and they were told the young women had no other options.

Hale said she and her friend talked to friends in church and jail ministries about the need for assistance to help women find their way after dealing with drugs and often spending time in jail. Hale said a number of people worked with them to establish a board and start Rainbow of Hope.

Hale said the home has recently moved to a new location in Glencoe, and continues to serve women who’ve been court-ordered to come to the facility, ordered to come their as part of probation and parole, and women who just realize they need help to battle substance abuse.

“We’re here for women who are sick and tired of being sick and tired of drugs,” Hale said.

The facility had a concert to raise funds last year, but has never had any kind of benefit on the scale that they believe the Robertson appearances will be.

Robertson also will appear at Martin’s Family Clothing July 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Autographs will be $20 with a July 13 purchase of Duck Dynasty/Commander merchandise or $30 without a purchase.

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