Summer Music Fest to Raise Money for Cancer CARE Fund
Together, they came up with the idea for a fundraiser for the Moore Regional Hospital Foundation's Cancer CARE Fund.
"It's a special thing for me," says Wilkins, whose daughter had a mastectomy five years ago.
The July 22 Summer Music Fest fundraiser will be held at Mint Julep's at 155 Hall Ave., Southern Pines. Bands from throughout the area will participate in the program that will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until midnight. Food and beverages will be sold.
Tickets for the event are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, and children 12 and under will be admitted free. Proceeds from the raffle of a Peavey Electric Guitar donated by Billy's Music World in Aberdeen will also benefit the Cancer CARE Fund, which helps cancer patients in the FirstHealth community with medications, transportation, medical equipment and other cancer treatment-related services.
Garner, a lifelong musician and Moore County resident, put together a similar program for the Foundation's Behavioral Services CARE Fund last year. He was doing an open-mike program at another local club when he met Wilkins, who told him about her daughter's bout with breast cancer. After hearing her story, Garner started thinking about what he could do to help cancer patients.
"Ethel was telling me her story, and I told her that I did the benefit for Behavioral Services," he says. "She thought it was nice that I did that, and I told her that maybe I could work something up for (cancer)."
Wilkins was enthusiastic about the idea.
"When Winfred told me about the mental health benefit, I looked at him and said 'I'd love to do something for breast cancer,'" she says. "That's how we got started."
Garner contacted an acquaintance with FirstHealth Behavioral Services who referred him to the Foundation of FirstHealth. When he heard about the Cancer CARE Fund, he immediately launched into planning a fundraiser to benefit its services.
The planning committee for the upcoming event also includes Carthage resident Geoff Brone, who is helping round up the musicians and with anything else that he is asked to do. Brone's mother died of pancreatic cancer three years ago, so he was especially happy to lend a hand.
"It's all about being able to help somebody," he says of the fundraiser. "That's what it's all about."
Mint Julep's owner Gib Williams agreed to host the Music Fest in support of cancer services, because the money will stay in the community.
"Once I found out that all the money raised stays right here for the patients who live here, I was more than happy to help out," he says. "So many times you see money raised at the local level, but you never get to see the results. With the Cancer CARE Fund, people right here, right now, can get the things they need while they are undergoing treatment. That is what is important."
The lineup for the program includes a variety of musical groups and styles: Steve and Rebecca Lapping and Sweet Teas, The Pickups, D.J. Cornell and the Live Centre Band, the Brambles, Dan Speller and His Blues Spell, Good for Nothing, Willow Creek, TCR Band, Gilbert Hardy and the Country Strangers, Loose Change, Eastwood Hawks, Sketchbook, and Johnny and the Cadillacs.
Lefty Compa and Doug Thompson will emcee the event.
Wilkins, Brone and Garner say they would be happy to help raise money for the Cancer CARE cause even if they hadn't been touched personally by cancer. But their firsthand experience with the disease makes their work even more special.
"I want to help, because my mother died of cancer and I have known several people who have died, too," says Garner. "I just wanted to help."
"My daughter's doing real well now," says Wilkins. "We're just blessed now, and I wanted to turn around and give back."
"If nothing else, I'll be standing at the gate taking money, doing whatever I can do," says Brone. "It's a worthwhile cause."
The Summer Music Fest for the Cancer CARE Fund will be held Saturday, July 22, from 1 p.m. to midnight at Mint Julep's in Southern Pines. Anyone attending should bring a chair or blanket to sit on. For information or to purchase tickets, please call Mint Julep's at 246-2223.
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