By Nikki Hedrick
Few music events, especially those organized by and featuring local talent, celebrate 11 years. But that’s exactly what Rock for a Cure will do Sunday, Feb. 17, at The Block in Fort Walton Beach.
With 11 bands, a $10 minimum door donation, food from Fokker’s and raffle items up for grabs, this party aims to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. And make no mistake, it is a party.
Many of the musicians performing are multi-year veterans of the event.
Event co-founder—and bassist for the bands Shenanigans and Something to Yield—Tommy Siren is quick to point out that eight of the eleven acts played at the 2018 event. “Some of the acts are returning for the fifth, sixth or even ninth time,” he tells Beachcomber.
“We have Heritage back this year, which is always great. I am also very excited for the addition of Gold & Motion and the infamous Brandon Day. We have an amazing lineup, and I couldn’t be more proud of the reactions I got from them when I asked them to be a part of the benefit this year. Everyone was just an immediate ‘Yes!’ No questions asked.”
Although the event is charity-minded, Siren says the primary goal is hope. “The point of the event is to give hope to people who feel like cancer has taken everything from them. Give them hope that people are still willing to help and want to make a difference—hope that one day this won’t be a problem.”
Echoing Siren’s sentiments of togetherness, this year’s event has a profound significance for Brandon Day. “Speaking on a very personal level, this year is different for me because in the last two years I lost a lady that was a second mother to me and just days ago, I lost a friend of mine who was way too young to be taken from us,” he says. “I believe this is such a worthy cause, not only for the money it raises but (because) it brings people together that have felt the heartbreak that this horrible disease causes.”
“(Cancer) is something that’s affected all of us, and we all work a little harder on stage that night because of it,” says Luke Langford of the aptly named Luke Langford Band. “A good friend of our band just lost her mother at age 57 to cholangiocarcinoma. That shouldn’t have happened. Seeing the family bear such a loss reminds us that the fight against cancer needs to be exactly that, a fight. So this year we’re fighting in memory of Robin Hicks and the entire Hicks family.”
Each of us has been touched by a cancer story, whether it is one marked by triumph or grief. The C-word encompasses over 100 specific diagnoses, and according to recent statistics from the National Cancer Institute, nearly 40 percent of people will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
Whether you have a very personal reason for attending Rock for a Cure 11 or just want to spend a Sunday night with a diverse music lineup, it’s always a memorable event.
Learn more at facebook.com/rockforacurefwb.