The unbeatable combination of food, family fun, live music, dancing, vendors and dozens of raffles added up to significant contributions toward a great cause on Sunday night.
Over 300 people attended the 2nd Annual Lori Johnson Music Festival at Mishnock Barn in West Greenwich in support of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. By the end of the four-hour event, $5,000 was raised for ACS.
Monetary contributions were also accompanied by good feelings generated among so many helping to battle cancer.
“This was for Lori,” said Pat Johnson, the team captain for L.J.’s Gang, one of several groups for theCoventry ACS Relay for Life chapter. “Running this helps families and friends get through the grieving and keep her memory alive. It was not all about raising money. It was all about fellowship, community and bringing people together for a good cause.”
Mishnock Barn owner Dan Albro has helped other organizations raise money for a cause at his business in the past. “Too many people, community members and friends have been affected by this (cancer).” he said.
Albro took an active part in the event, sharing a stage with sons Keaton, Addison, Nathaniel, Quinn and Zach in a band called The Allbros, alternating with Not for Nuthn’ and Big River Band in rousing sets.
It was easy to find several others there who had either experienced the ravaging effects of cancer or were now helping the cause on behalf of friends, family or community members.
Outside was a fire truck named ‘Jackie’ painted all in pink for the Rhode Island chapter of Pink Heals, a national organization committed to raising cancer awareness and named for the mother of state chapter chair, Ted Dion, of Coventry.
At the ACS Relay for Life booth, Lynne Peters, an ACS volunteer and former Relay Chair, handed out brochures and pamphlets and provided information on how people might join the local organization. "Last June, all the Coventry Relay for Life groups raised a total of $100,800 for the ACS,” said Peters.
Members of J.P.’s Posse, another Relay team, maintained a very popular booth consisting of baskets to be raffled off in the evening. “We had 28 baskets that were raffled off and we think we made about $1,000 for J.P. Posse’s team captain, Chris Warren," explained one team member.
J.P. is John Parillo, who had been diagnosed and afflicted with lymphoma over two years ago and is glad to be alive and able to talk about it. “I had to go through many hours of chemo and got a bone marrow transplant in November,” said Parillo. “ACS helped me out and raised a lot of money to help me and other survivors. They gave me lots of support.”
“If you want to put together a team or mentor a team or if you are a survivor, call us and we will help you,” said Johnson.
For more information about the ACS Coventry Relay of Life, call 392-3309 .The national ACS number is 1-800-ACS-2345.