‘Comfort Music Fest’ to Benefit Cancer Patients
Benefits the Comfort Fund at WVU’s Cancer Center

MORGANTOWN, WV— Musicians from a wide range of genres and traditions will perform Saturday, June 2, at Chestnut Ridge Park in Bruceton Mills during a concert to benefit patients at West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. 

The 2007 Comfort Music Fest, featuring bluegrass, reggae, folk and jazz bands, will include headliner Steppin’ In It, from Lansing, Michigan, who performed recently on National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage Program. The Half-Time String Band, the David Longfellow Ensemble, the Rust Kings, Old Riders of the Purple Haze, and the Spirit Jazz Project complete the concert line-up.

Gates open at 12 noon, rain or shine. Advance tickets are $12.50 for adults and may be purchased in advance at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center by calling (304) 293-3711. Tickets are also available at the Black Bear Burritos Restaurant on Pleasant Street in Morgantown.

Tickets purchased at the concert will be $15. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free, but a donation will be appreciated. Concert t-shirts may be purchased at the event.

All proceeds will go to the Cancer Center’s Comfort Fund that was established to financially assist any patient being treated at the Cancer Center Clinic. The fund provides patients with temporary, short-term assistance for medications, lodging, and other needs, until they can be linked with appropriate community, state, or national resources.


“The Comfort Fund addresses the needs of a patient in such a personal way,” said Susan Oliverio, a six-year cancer survivor.  “Cancer treatment can be a financial burden for so many families. It’s exciting to know that our cancer center has created this fund and supports patients as individuals.”

The idea to hold the benefit concert originated with Daniel Elswick, M.D., the on-site psychiatrist for the Psycho-Oncology Program at the Cancer Center.  “I know how stressful dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment can be on patients and their families. I wanted to do something outside of counseling to help lighten the load that many of them bear.”

Dr. Elswick had a connection with the headline band and persevered to get a full line-up of artists. Several area businesses, companies, and individuals, along with many faculty, staff, and students at WVU chimed in to offer their support. 

“Whether it is a close friend, co-worker, or family member, cancer affects all of us in some way,” said Betsy Elswick, Pharm.D., who co-chairs the concert planning committee with her husband Daniel.  “This concert is something Dan and I can do to help others win their battles against the disease.” 

“I really appreciate and commend Dan and Betsy for working so hard to organize this concert,” said Jame Abraham, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Center Clinic.  “There are so many patients in our clinic who struggle to keep up with their financial responsibilities.  Their needs are real and we need to help them in every way possible.”

The day-long concert will also include several food and craft vendors, face painting, educational exhibits, and a candle lighting ceremony to honor those who’ve courageously battled cancer. Concert goers are welcome to bring lawnchairs and picnic coolers.

For more information about the bands at the 2007 Comfort Music Fest at Chestnut Ridge Park, visit http://www.chestnutridgepark.com/events.htm.  To learn more about the headline band, visit www.steppininit.com.

- WVU -

For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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