Community members from across Portage County and from as far as Madison will come together to hold the third Concert for a Cure for Cancer, and all proceeds will go to support cancer patients. The concert will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Pacelli High School, 1302 Maria Drive, Stevens Point.
There will be no charge for the concert. Instead, the director and creator of the event, Amy Formella, asked that people make donations in whatever amount they can. All funds raised will be donated to Ministry Health Cancer Care and University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Cancer Center.
The first year the funds went to a specific research project at UW-Madison. Last year more of the money went to Ministry Health Cancer Center for patient care. This year it will be split between the two.
The concert will feature performances from every age group and many different genres. Some performers will sing, some will play instruments and some will read poetry. Approximately 20 performers have signed up so far and there is still room for more.
The first Concert for a Cure for Cancer was held in 2012 and Formella, a cancer survivor herself, said she hopes to raise $5,000 to go toward cancer research and patient care.
“I think we are all touched by cancer,” Formella said. “Therefore, if we can do more to prevent this, to cure it, we wouldn’t have to go thought the suffering and the expense of care, and just the heartache of it.”
Formella was diagnosed with cancer in January 2012 and immediately began looking for ways to get involved with fundraisers and boosting awareness. She said she found many 5Ks but didn’t know if she was in shape to complete one.
“You get highly motivated when you go through this (cancer),” Formella said. “I wasn’t in the best shape to do a walk/run at the time. So I thought, ‘Well, I’m a musician, so for goodness sake let’s do a concert.’ We put it together in about a month’s time.”
Formella’s surgeon from Madison will perform on the piano with her son accompanying on his violin. They both came for the first year and are returning again this year to help with the cause.
Among the other performers will be Paul Marszalkowski, a local musician who was recently accepted into the Scotland Royal Conservatory of Music, a program that holds auditions worldwide and only accepts four people. He is also the composer of the recently debuted play, “SPIRIT.”
There will be Broadway style performances, jazz numbers and a movie about curing cancer created by two young students.
Formella said one of her favorite parts is working with the young students who participate.
“The little kids sometime don’t want to perform on the stage because they’re afraid,” Formella said. “But they’ll do this because they know it’s going to help people. They are willing to pull out of their shells and perform for a cause.”
Tina Lepak, an art teacher at St. Peter Middle School, asked her students to make art to donate to the cause. The art will be for sale by donation, no set prices, just what people are able to give. Any leftover art pieces will be sold or given away at other cancer awareness venues, such as Relay for Life.
In addition to the art sale, there will be a bake sale, with all proceeds going toward cancer patients and research.
Those interested in performing in the event can still sign up by going online to signupgenius.com. Formella said the show is getting close to full but she can always find room for a few more and people will still be able to sign up until a few days before the show. The only requirement is that the performance be family-friendly.