Virtually everyone can say that they know someone affected by cancer. Whether it a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, or even themselves, the disease can be terrifying. Lisa Dee has experienced it firsthand—she sadly lost her 7-year-old son, Vincent, to Leukemia in November of 2006. He was diagnosed at just 3 years old, and went through extensive chemotherapy, as well as bone marrow and stem cell transplants, which were ultimately ineffective.
Dee saw an opportunity amidst this tragedy, however, to help others affected by cancer and to raise funds for cancer research. Her first instinct was to apply to medical school in hopes of finding a cure, but her application was denied because of a lack of previous medical experience. Instead, she joined a rock band, and used her musical experience to start a charity called Concerts For A Cure.
Dee says, “I learned how to promote shows and produce these events, and that inspired me to raise money.” Dee is fundraising through a series of concerts, benefit dinners, and other events. Half of this money will go to cancer research, such as funding for new drugs and procedures. It may even be used for its own research fund, which will be built up from there. The other half will be distributed to cancer organizations on Long Island that helped her and her family when they were going through the trials of cancer.
She wants to give back to them because “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where my family would be. They helped my family out incredibly.” Among these organizations are Friends of Karen, the American Cancer Society, A Mother’s Kiss, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Cancer Care, Locks of Love, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Dee is dreaming big: her goal is to raise $1 million dollars, and she ultimately wants to put on a concert in Madison Square Garden. She is even starting to plan a show at Radio City Music Hall next year. However, she knows that “I have to start somewhere, and I’m starting it in my own backyard.” Her first concert will be held on Friday, June 3, at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead from 8 to 11:30 p.m. There will be a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction and live music featuring 3 bands: Lo Fi 3, Deep Rising, and Neptune’s Rise, who perform their own music and have played at the Vail before. Of the bands, she says that “They know what my goal has been since I’ve been a musician and they have always been very supportive.”
Neptune’s Rise is the band with which Dee started her musical endeavors, and her current band Celestial will hopefully be playing at a future Concerts For A Cure event. Dee is also very grateful to the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall for being supportive of her mission and hosting the event for her.
Besides her inaugural event at the Vail, Dee will be organizing future concerts at local venues, and will also be holding other fundraising dinners throughout Long Island.
Dee has the passion, dedication and enthusiasm needed to achieve her goal. She was inspired by her young son to take action in fighting cancer, but she also has others in mind. She notes, “I do it not only in honor of my son, but I do it for everyone affected by cancer.” Head to the concert on June 3 to enjoy some fantastic original music and help fight cancer at the same time.
Concerts For A Cure Premier Concert Event, June 3 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30). Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, 18 Peconic Ave, Riverhead. For tickets, information about the event, and volunteering, visit concertsforacure.com. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. [/expand]