Zombie event a horror for those expecting payment

Zombie event a horror for those expecting payment

One month after a Southeast Texas zombie invasion that promised a Battle of the Bands contest paying a $10,000 grand prize to the winner and various other giveaways, participants are still waiting to receive their winnings. Zombie Voodoo Fest 2012, promoted by Emerging Magazine figureheads Ricky Buxton (aka Stefan duBois, aka R. Carroll Buxton) and wife Cher Ferroggiaro (aka Cheryl Lynn Buxton, aka Cherie Lynne Buxton, aka Cherilyn Ferroggiaro), is scheduled to have four events this year – one in Southeast Texas, which changed abruptly from Port Arthur to three different locations in Beaumont, and others in California, Virginia and Michigan. Beaumont was the first, held July 7 and 8; Michigan and Virginia are set for October. However, if the couple’s foray into the zombie fest business is any indication, participants at the remaining tour stops will get more horror than they bargained for after the zombies have come and gone.

Ready for an invasion

Buxton and Ferroggiaro began promoting Zombie Voodoo Fest 2012 in November 2011, announcing a two-day event complete with hoards of undead, model contests and expectations of more than 50 contestants vying for the event’s Battle of the Bands $10,000 grand prize. At that time, the Southeast Texas venue was in Orange. By the beginning of 2012, however, the venue had changed to Pleasure Island, slated for the first weekend in June, before it was ousted over failure to get proper permitting, according to Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton. Next came Ford Park for a date in July, which changed yet again to the Montange Center before changing at last to The Gig on Crockett Street for a July 7-8 event. Zombie Fest’s agenda remained intact, according to the promoters, but in the end, more than just the venue changed.

To start, dozens of bands might have been expected, but roughly one dozen competed at the actual event. Also notably absent from the event as originally promised was the 5K Run for Education awarding the first-place runner “a $10,000 cash award,” Zombie Tag, guest celebrities, and a kids play area. And although initially stating the funds raised from Zombie Fest would benefit local public schools, the benefactor of the charity was ultimately changed to the Buxton/Ferroggiaro-owned International Children’s Art Network (ICAN). Labeled as a domestic nonprofit corporation, ICAN was registered with the Texas Secretary of State on Dec. 29, 2011, at an address in Orange, but is not accepted at the IRS as a tax-exempt entity and has not filed Form 990s to show the entity’s financial standings or divulge who is benefitting from the nonprofit’s services.
Also, funds promised to Beaumont participants have not been dispersed. Battle of the Bands winner Angel Siren had yet to receive any prize money or equivalent when The Examiner caught up with lead guitarist P.J. Disharoon this week, Zombie Wedding couple Trenton and Ashley (Wells) Barlow had yet to receive their promised honeymoon package, Hot Zombie contest winner Rachel Disharoon hadn’t received a penny of the $500 prize money she supposedly won, and The Gig was forced to collect money from tickets sales at the door of the event since Buxton and Ferroggiaro had failed to pay the venue prior to the event.

A zebra is a zebra

Buxton has been in trouble for dodging debt before, according to Public Data records. He has to his credit a theft of property by check conviction in 2004, theft of property by check conviction for a value of up to $20,000 in 1997, was ordered to spend 90 days confinement in Orange County in 2011 for “theft by hot check,” and was accused by the Bexar County district attorney of issuing a bad check to pay child support.

“I didn’t see that side of him before now,” Zombie Bride Ashley (Wells) Barlow told The Examiner. “He was so nice, and I remember being so grateful to him when he first talked to us about this opportunity. I wish I would’ve known better then.

“It was too good to be true.”

Barlow said she hadn’t planned on wearing zombie makeup for her big day until Buxton approached her then-fiancée and asked if the young couple was interested in sharing their blessed union with a few thousand (it ended up being at best a couple hundred) zombies and Zombie Voodoo Fest revelers. Strapped for nuptial funding and faced with an offer of a free wedding dress and honeymoon, the betrothed jumped at the offer.

“We were suppose to be on our honeymoon right now,” a very upset and pregnant Barlow said. “It’s a bunch of crap, and it hurts my feelings. It upsets me that we entrusted these people with our wedding and they did this to us.

“We fulfilled our part; we did what we were suppose to do. I would much rather have gotten married at a church or the Justice of the Peace even, but I trusted (Buxton).”

Barlow said she has tried to contact Buxton and Ferroggiaro numerous times but has gotten the run-around. She did receive a call Aug. 8 from Buxton, but Barlow didn’t get the response she was hoping for.

“He was screaming at me,” she said. “I didn’t know the band didn’t get paid but he accused me of spreading lies and such. He just kept yelling and cussing at me, so I hung up.”

Husband and soon-to-be father Trenton Barlow said honeymooning at this point is hardly worth the effort.

“It’s not worth getting stressed out about, or (her) miscarrying our baby over this – or anything else, for that matter,” he said. “When they changed the venue (for a third time) to the Montagne Center, it was already starting to sound a little fishy to me.”

Ashley Barlow said she was tired of fighting for what she was promised, too, and offered words of advice for anyone else doing business with the Buxton/Ferroggiaro duo.

“I would let them people know (Buxton and Ferroggiaro) are scandalous,” she said. “It was headache after headache dealing with them, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”

P.J. Disharoon from Battle of the Bands winner Angel Siren said they still have hopes of collecting their prize.

“We were promised a grand prize of $10,000 for placing first in the two-day Zombie Fest Battle of the Bands,” Disharoon confirmed to Examiner entertainment editor Chad Cooper. “As of now, no, we haven’t received any funds. I’m not directly dealing with (Buxton) as our bass player is (but) as of now (Buxton) has been telling the band that they are waiting 30 days to receive the money from the insurance company (to pay the band).”

The next episode

With the next Zombie Fest tour date set just over a month away in Michigan at the Bates Haunted Sawmill, venue owner Robert Drubin is getting a little leery of the arrangement since he has yet to receive any contract information or payment agreement from Buxton regarding the event.
“The guy isn’t up here yet, but I talk to him every couple weeks or so,” he said. “It’s a little weird that it’s getting close to the date and things aren’t done, but I don’t know.”

Drubin said he is going to question Buxton about what happened in Beaumont since he doesn’t want the bands at his venue to pony up the $50 entry fee to be a part of the Michigan Battle of the Bands if there is indeed no payout.

“(Buxton) has a lot of questions to answer,” he said.

Attempts to reach the couple through Buxton’s Texas cell phone, toll-free dialing listed for Zombie Voodoo Fest and Emerging Magazine, and a contact number for “Cher” rerouted to “The Rejection Hotline” were all unanswered as of press time.



Zombie event a horror for those expecting payment | The Examiner

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Hey Stefan, Just clicking around on my computer and guess what???

So where's the $7,400.00 in back rent you owe me?
Not to mention the damage that you caused in my house in Scranton, PA? I don't doubt that these stories about your fund raisers and events are true. It seems that you and Cher have quite a track record. I guess that I should feel good about having the priviege to join the growing list of victims that you and Cher have left behind. Must be nice to travel around the country and live off the blood and sweat of other people. On a bright note, I do have a feeling that we will be in touch.


Now that the rebuttal regarding the botched zombie honeymoon won by the "long time friends of your family" has been made. And while you define sensationalism at it's best, It comes across to me that you are avoiding and distracting from the main question the friends,fans and musicians who participated in this event are asking. And that would be, "Why hasn't the winning band (Angel Siren) received the $10,000 prize money? Why didn't the venue (The Gig) get paid? Why didn't the Hot Zombie (Rachel Disharoon) get paid the $500 prize money?" If any of these promises have been fulfilled ( and I doubt they had otherwise you would have mentioned it in your rebuttal above) there should be a paper trail. You should absolutely keep copies of all the death threats that you have received since this fiasco took place. However, your credibility is slim to none at this point and it wouldn't be difficult for you or anyone you are affiliated with to fake an email account and send yourself "death threats" to grab a bit of pity. He said ,she said all that nonsense. I'm just glad my band didn't participate in this event. I had a feeling this one was gonna be a "stinker". Can you PROVE you paid the venue and the winning contestants? Show the paper trail. If you're hoping to keep a private payment schedule ...well...private in order to save face ...I honestly believe It's a bit late for that. Everyone is wondering what's going on.

Additional Comment

Since the writing of this article, we have received death threats and violent acts against myself and my wife.

I am thinking we entered a pathway to the Twilight Zone in Southeast Texas.

I will provide these social network comments as we have copied them to our files as evidence.

Mr Buxton, As you go to file

Mr Buxton, As you go to file your bogus case - you may want to check on your OUTSTANDING WARRANT in Jefferson County. Face the facts sir, you are nothing but a slimy con artist. Quit scamming others and go flip burgers to pay your own personal debts.

Ricky Buxton

I am a Police Criminal Investigator for the City Of Biloxi, Ms and I had a caller refer me to this page. Can you please call me in ref. to Buxton so I can get the needed information to see if he is truely wanted out of Jefferson County and if so what is the charge. Thanks, Investigator R. Akins

PrivateEyed Should Check His Claim Before Submitting Untruths

Just as jennifer should have researched this article, you should have performed the same task. A simple phone call to Jefferson County would have given you correct information.

While Google is a great way to start, it is merely a start. Considering there are more than one R. Buxton, Ricky Buxton (one being from Starks, LA) or other variations of my name, the next task would have been to call the County.

Additionally, prior to the event for Pleasure Island, I was in the Chief of Police's office discussing the event. Another incidence prior to the event, my wife and I sat in conference with the Chief of Police and one of his Captains for nearly 2 hours. If your claim were true, I doubt I would have been at the event, or sitting at my computer responding to your reply here.

Furthermore, if I were what you claim in your public response, I would think a fugitive would not want to have interviews conducted on camera for two of the local television stations in Beaumont.

Your effort should be commended in some way, however. You should have posted your true name though, communication in the modern world has become somewhat of a scam itself, everyone hides behind a username.

My name is Ricky Buxton and my phone number is publicly listed.

Rebuttal to Jennifer's Article

This is sensationalism at it's best. The fact is Jennifer contacted me a day before the writeup and left a message for me to contact her. We were on a beach in Virginia when the call was received.

However, when I received the message, I did leave a message for Jennifer to return my call. The couple whom were supposed to be made-up as half-zombie and half-normal, failed to do so, as agreed.

The couple have been friends of a family member since their youth. The couple were instructed on how to download their "Honeymoon" vacation as we promised the couple. However, 3 days before the wedding the groom, Trenton Barlow called to explain he did not know what it meant. I explained all he had to do was to follow the instructions on the certificate, i.e. enter their email address and click the submit button. We agreed to pay the registration fee for them.

The downloaded certificate is good for one household only. Therefore, since they had downloaded the certificate, they could not download another for 30 days to ensure the couple did not use the first one.

The couple called us repeatedly as well as texted us, with the same question, "When are we getting our honeymoon?"

Several attempts to explain the same information repeatedly to Ashley and Trenton were futile. Finally, I decided not to answer the phone calls until the 30 day period expired, as the simple message did not seem to get through to either one of the individuals.

Ashley called the day she gave her story to Jennifer, she was agitated and even though I attempted to explain to her the process once again, she hung up. I called back and left her a message explaining that the 30 day period would have to pass, we would then repurchase the program and they could receive their honeymoon.

I spoke with Trenton yesterday and informed him the certificate they wanted was again available for download, even walking him through the process. To understang how easy it is to receive the certificate, view the link: http://emergingmagazine.com/group/emerging-magazine-rewards-thank-you/pa...

Jennifer, it is public knowledge what my birth name is as well as my pseudonym. I have used my pseudonym for 8 years now. The information can be found on our non-profit's website for the world to read.

Additionally, I nor anyone else in our organization has ever claimed our non-profit organization was or is a 501c3 charity, not even in television interviews held in Southeast Texas. The events we produce share profits with the organization, then we distribute funds or other art related items to charitable organizations.

Anyone desiring to know the actual truth may call me directly. 1-888-244-4418

The article here should sell copies, that is what sensationalism writing is all about. Next time you decide to write an article about how people did not receive their promised items, consider the person telling you the story. Check to see why the groom was fired from his job and the unstable personality of the bride, this may explain why they were incompetent enough to follow the simple instructions of submitting an email address or opening a file in their email.

We have dinner with this couple on multiple occasions prior to the wedding, answering questions and discussing their wedding plans.

We were not obligated to finding a sponsor for their wedding, the agreement was for the couple to be made-up as half zombie and half-normal, and the venue for the wedding would be where the event was to be held, then they would receive a free honeymoon package as a "thank you."

However, the couple had limited funds and we found a sponsor whom provided the wedding dress. We discovered later she was pregnant and they wanted to leave right away on the honeymoon, even though the couple was informed the trip could be scheduled up to 90 days from the date the certificate is registered.

By the way, the aliases you listed for my wife, please do your homework next time, you listed someone we have no idea who it is, the other you listed was my ex-wife of 20 years ago.

The rejection line you mentioned in your article, as being my wife's is meant as a joke to her friends. Putting a personal phone number on a social network is certainly not advisable to anyone. Therefore, her number is not listed and should not be. She was fans from around the world whom seek out her work and photography skills.

This being said, the wedding couple has not paid my wife for her photography before, during and after the wedding. My wife trusted the couple and gave them a full CD of the wedding photographs with a promise to pay. As of today, that promise has not been remitted.

Again, for the boring, non-sensational truth in regards to Jennifer Johnson's article, you may call me directly.

Phone: 1-888-244-4418

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Sounds like Cat house Records all over again!

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