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A Letter From Sean Carney

Sean CarneyThis came in from Bluesman and International Blues Challenge Winner Sean Carney. We thought we would share some
good feelings with you: “I'm still glowing after Sean Carney's Blues For A Cure benefit concert on December 2 at Whiskey Dick's in Columbus, Ohio. What an amazing day of live Blues and expression of love for those whose lives have been touched by cancer. I'm proud to announce that Blues For A Cure raised $9,000 to be distributed to The American Cancer Society of Central Ohio and The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“On top of a wonderful day's worth of live Blues music, there was a live auction that featured a Fender ‘60's Strat from Guitar Center, setup by Dave Bush Guitar Works and autographed by the guitarists who performed at Blues For A Cure. It gets bigger - my booking agent, Jo-Ann Freda put me in touch with B.B. King's management, getting approval to have two Epiphone B.B. King Lucille guitars autographed by Mr. King in Columbus, Ohio at The Palace Theater on Saturday, December 1, to be auctioned the next day at Blues For A Cure.

“The idea behind Blues For A Cure was born during a phone call with my friend Dr. Paul McCarthy, a Cleveland surgeon and owner of Honeybee Records. We discussed the notion that Blues music can effect positive change in the world and different ideas to express that notion by raising money for a charity, paying the artists a reasonable wage, and presenting an awesome showcase of live Blues worthy of festival designation. My mother was then undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, my younger sister and stepmother are cancer survivors, and my piano player, John Popovich, is in remission – the charity was clear.

“I spoke with Lori Popovich of The American Cancer Society and got the official go-ahead to move forward with this concept. Soon after, I met Blues enthusiast and Mediu CEO Mike Berichon, who last year lost his sister to cancer – he loved the idea and wanted to be a part of it. In the summer, Mike and I met with Tracy Moran and Steve Chaykowski at The OSU James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute who also embraced the idea and educated us about the different ways we could donate.

“Around this same time, I met Mark Puskarich of a Christmas To Cure Cancer through a mutual friend and musician, Brian Duress. I learned that Mark and I shared personal motivation to raise money for cancer research and that he had been successfully doing so for several years through his amazing work producing and selling CDs, promoting live music events, and donating 100% of the proceeds to cancer research through A Christmas To Cure Cancer. Mark dedicated his time and resources to our new idea and Blues For A Cure was born and The Sean Carney Band performed at a benefit event for A Christmas to Cure Cancer on November 30 at The Crown Plaza in Dublin [Ohio].

“Whiskey Dick's is where I won The Columbus Blues Challenge in 2006 and started down the road to winning The 2007 International Blues Challenge and management was so enthusiastic about hosting the event, that they donated a percentage of the day's profits to Blues For A Cure! Following a meeting with Morse Road Guitar Center Manager Patrick Scott, Guitar Center came onboard as our first sponsor committing to provide backline for the event along with Category 5 Amplification.

“The Columbus Dispatch, WCBE 90.5 FM, BluesWax, and The Columbus Blues Alliance helped us get the word out about Blues For A Cure and our great lineup that featured The Delta Sheiks, Teeny Tucker, Hurricane Jerry & Stormfront, Cal Baldi, Willie Pooch & The Upsetters, The Don Norman Blues Band featuring Omar Coleman (from Chicago's West Side), and The Sean Carney Band. It was a great night of music and even the folks who bought reserve seating felt they got more than their money's worth with the quality of entertainers we featured from one until eight.

Every band had at least one member who had been touched by cancer – a mother, a son, a sister, a father, a wife – some survived and others did not. Emotions were expressed with love and respect and through the music.

“CBA founder and Blues musician Dan Axt did an exemplary job as auctioneer, drawing big bids on the B.B. King guitars and The Strat while Jill Bookhout, Judi Bruce, Mark Puskarich, and Brian Duress managed the silent auction. Thanks also to Susan Lotozo, Dave Uhas and all those people who volunteered.

“A Christmas To Cure Cancer has begun to produce a Blues CD that will be released in time for the 2008 holiday season and dates are under discussion for The Second Annual Blues For A Cure.

“My thanks to those people who showed up to support our cause and share their stories at Blues For A Cure. My personal thanks to those who helped out when I was in need back in August.

“Here's to all the best in 2008. God Bless You All!

-- Sean Carney, Naples, Florida”

No, thank you, Sean.

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