Last evening I had the joy of attending a concert up in Gurnee by my good friend Matt Wessel. Matt's father passed away from a brain tumor when he was in high school. He worked through his grief by writing music. A large portion of his music is liturgical and has become music that we sang with our church groups in college and is now officially being published by GIA in hymnals across the country.
9 years ago Kate, a girl from his high school, was also battling cancer. Students and staff of Warren Township High School decided that they wanted to support Kate and not only raise money for the American Cancer Society, but also to show her that she wasn't alone in this. The Concert for Life was born. While Matt does other concerts throughout the year, this annual Concert for Life is by far his biggest fundraiser. While Kate and his father are no longer with us, our fight for everyone with cancer still goes on. At this concert we honor those that we've lost, those that have won, and those that are still fighting with cancer. I was so touched last night as I sat next to my dear friend Melissa, as she stood to be recognized as a cancer fighter, and a high school student came over and brought her a daffodil.
I have become good friends with Matt and his musicians over the years. We have played in many church groups together, weddings and other events at Marquette. They still do a few concerts every year including a rally in DC for the ACS in 2006. They never take any money for the shows, but donate all of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Together they have raised over $230,000 over the last 9 years and that number keeps on growing.
Last night Matt announced a new project - The Carry On Campaign. He challenged each one of us to come back to the show next year having raised $100 over the year. Just $100. If each of us brought back $100, we could raise over $100,000. It's not about our own money though. He wanted us to find creative ways to encourage those around us to help the ACS.
So I've decided to take that challenge, to stand up and make a difference. As soon as I get the paperwork and logistics set up, I will have my very own Carry On Campaign website which will be linked to my sales in Lamaworks. I will be donating a portion of every sale to this great cause. I haven't decided yet if this will be a percentage of each sale or just a flat rate per sale so details will be coming over the next few weeks.
For more information about the Campaign you can go to the website:
Carry On Campaign
For more information about Matt, his music and his cause you can go to:
Matt Wessel Music
Take a listen to his music, buy a CD, look for a concert near you!
For more information about the wonderful things the American Cancer Society is doing:
Thank you to everyone for your support!! Take the challenge and make a difference!
Until the next time,
The girl behind the lama ...