Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Help Fight Cancer at Musical Benefits

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Help Fight Cancer at Musical Benefits

Article excerpt

The April 19 passing of Levon Helm, legendary drummer/vocalist for The Band, after his long battle with throat cancer, serves as a solemn reminder of the ongoing and urgent fight for a cure. Providentially, locals seeking to support these efforts will have two excellent opportunities to lend a hand this weekend.

On Jan. 14, 26-year-old Cody Long of Bradenton was diagnosed with stage III testicular cancer, which has now metastasized to his lymph nodes and both lungs.

To counter the rising costs of treatments and surgeries, Long's friends and family reached out to area musicians to help attract the masses to this Friday's "No Worries" Cancer Benefit at Robarts


All ticket sales and donations from the show will go directly toward Long's medical bills, and there's more incentive to give with 50/50 raffle and silent auction prizes thanks to a number of generous sponsors.

"We're not a licensed nonprofit, so we just kind of do the DIY thing," says Steve Cochrane, one of the event's many organizers. "We've done about 10 or 12 of these, usually for people with cancer. The events only come up when the need is there -- when we've got to help this person. We did the one for Danny Toler, and he's been involved a lot. Dickey Betts has been a big part of them. This is the second The Outlaws have done for us. A lot of them are the same musicians that want to play each time."

Cochrane and fellow organizers like Michele Fultz and Michael Murphy have been drawing large crowds in support of worthy causes for years. Luckily, Long happens to be Murphy's cousin, so the group started work on his "No Worries" benefit back in February. They have definitely made friends with the right crop of artists, as these bands have now become some of the most fundraiser frequenting acts in the region, especially with the recent string of Dan Toler benefits. Tampa southern rock legends The Outlaws, local veterans The Michael Kach Group and rapidly rising rockers Come Back Alice (formerly The Tony Tyler Band) have all performed at these concerts, and have supported similar causes throughout the Suncoast for years. …

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