Rock the Block fundrasier aims to ‘kick cancer’

For more than two decades, Lawrence Memorial Hospital has focused its fundraising efforts in October on breast cancer. Breast cancer is a devastating disease that affects many individuals, mostly women. But because all cancers need to be kicked and all survivors rock, the LMH Endowment Association is planning a new event called Rock the Block – Kick Cancer to raise funds and awareness to fight all kinds of cancer.

The event will be an outdoor block party with live music on Friday, Oct. 2, from 6 to 10 p.m. to take place between Jack Ellena Honda and Briggs Auto along West 29th Street Terrace in south Lawrence.

Rock the Block is from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, between Jack Ellena Honda and Briggs Auto along West 29th Street Terrace in south Lawrence.

This is the first year for this fundraiser, which is presented by the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association. All the proceeds stay in Douglas County and support cancer detection, equipment for advanced treatment options and community education. The event replaces the popular Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer event, which raised more than $704,000 since 1993.

Entertainment will begin with a live radio remote from 105.9 KISS-FM. Lawrence Journal-World Managing Editor Chad Lawhorn will be there to visit with attendees from 6 to 7 p.m. with Town Talk Live. Three live bands will each take the stage for about an hour apiece, starting with local favorite, Marty Moore and the Beerbellies, followed by Kansas City-based LandRush, and the evening will close with Lawrence’s own ’80s-’90s rock cover band, Thunderkat.

During the event, cancer patients and survivors in attendance will be honored at a Rock Star Ceremony. There will be an opportunity to participate in an interactive mural art project by local artist Zak Barnes, as well as drawings to win themed baskets and KU basketball tickets.

Tickets are $45 (adults over 21 only) and may be purchased online by Thursday at; by phone at 785-505-3318; at Mario’s Closet at Lawrence Memorial Hospital; or at the event. The ticket includes food and drink. Bring a lawn chair if you wish, but no pets, please. Tickets for this year’s basket drawings as well as Rock the Block-Kick Cancer t-shirts may be purchased at LMH this week or at the event.

Co-chairing the Rock the Block event are Dr. Jim Mandigo, Carrie Mandigo, Dr. Luke Huerter and Dr. Michele Bennett, assisted by a team of hundreds of community volunteers and hospital staff. Carrie Mandigo said, “We feel lucky to be a part of this wonderful and dedicated group of people and to have our names associated with this event.”

Briggs Auto, Dale Willey Automotive, Jack Ellena Honda, Meritrust Credit Union and Radiologic Professional Services are the 2015 event sponsors.

For additional information, call 785-505-3318 or visit

Mural on display

Lawrence Memorial Hospital will be given a mural painted by local artist Zak Barnes. Barnes specializes in Kansas landscape paintings and dream-like narratives that have been exhibited all over Kansas.

Barnes was born and raised in Kansas, living between Lawrence and Wichita. His love for the Flint Hills and the people have inspired his paintings. His paintings are drawn from memory and the landscapes act as a backdrop. His folk art, surrealism, and contemporary composition create uncertainty in the environment and period. Both natural and manmade elements are placed in his paintings, creating a story for the viewer.

The painting will be given to Lawrence Memorial Hospital during the Rock the Block – Kick Cancer Event on Oct. 2. The painting will be of a Kansas River covered by a bridge and many sunflowers. Colored ribbons at the event will be offered for people to adhere to the mural in remembrance of loved ones, offering a 3-D effect to the art piece.

After the event, the powerful piece will be on display next to Mario’s Closet along the corridor to the LMH Oncology Center.

“I hope this painting can give the people that pass it a positive moment in a day that holds extraordinary challenges,” Barnes said. “I have always created my work with a goal to capture people and get them thinking. If my painting can make someone’s day a little better, there really is no greater success. I am deeply honored to have this opportunity.”