The organizers of Runaway Country can thank the power of social media for bringing back their signs.
On March 25, this message was posted on the country music festival's Facebook page: "PLEASE SHARE!!!! Whoever is stealing the RC street signs with artist photos, NOT cool. These were to be donated to various Brevard County charities to raise money at auction. Anyone who finds one please bring to Wickham Park, no questions asked. Thank you!"
The post resulted in 81 comments, 369 shares and 367 likes. One Runaway Country fan commented: "Shame on you who stole things. DON'T COME BACK NEXT YEAR! WE WILL BE WATCHING!"
"We received two anonymous tips and recovered four of them," said executive producer Gary McCann. "At last count, just one missing."
McCann and his crew hosted a Runaway Country afterparty on Thursday at Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront. They auctioned off the signs and raised $700, which went to a Cocoa Beach Relay for Life team, McCann said, and a bonus Toby Keith sign was sold for $300, which went to the Central Brevard Humane Society.
However, there is one sign that couldn't be salvaged. Vandals cut out Kimberly Perry's picture on a Band Perry sign that was on State Road A1A. Rather than auction that, organizers chucked it.
"We'll be holding more auctions, more raffles, more for Brevard County charities in the coming weeks," he added. "Before you know it, there'll be new ones for 2015."
If you have information on the missing Runaway Country sign, call 321-549-4204, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.