The Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association is inviting community members to “Rock the Block” this Friday during its second annual fundraiser of the same name, featuring live music, food and drinks in a block-party atmosphere.
Slated for 6 to 10 p.m. in the outdoor area between Briggs Auto and Jack Ellena Honda near 29th and Iowa streets, the event — its tagline is “Kick Cancer” — replaced LMH’s longtime October fundraiser, Step Out For Breast Cancer, last fall.
“After 24 years of a successful event that targeted women and breast cancer specifically, we recognized the need for inclusion of all cancers because, unfortunately, there are many kinds of cancer,” said Tiffany Hall, annual giving manager for the Endowment Association. “It affects men, it affects young people. And as a community hospital inclusive of all citizens of Lawrence and the surrounding communities, we wanted to be cognizant of that.”
The popular fundraiser, which had raised more than $704,000 since its beginnings in 1993, focused exclusively on breast cancer. Rock the Block widens that scope to include all forms of cancer — as well as its many survivors living and thriving in and around Lawrence.
Most of us, Hall said, are affected in some way or another by the disease, whether we’ve been diagnosed personally or have supported a friend, family member, colleague or neighbor through his or her own battle.
Rock the Block aims to celebrate — and give back to — all cancer survivors, with proceeds benefiting LMH cancer programs.
“Because it benefits both oncology and breast cancer, that means we can put that money toward equipment, we can put that money toward education, we can put that money toward supplies, we can put that money toward survivorship programs,” Hall said. “Cancer is so much more than just the diagnosis and the treatment.”
Though the main goal here is fundraising, Hall hopes guests will have some fun in the process. Among the festivities this year: live music (courtesy of local bands Soul Rebel and the Beast, Thunderkat, and LB’s), giveaways from 10.59 KISS FM, themed prize baskets, and a “rock star” ceremony honoring those who have “kicked” cancer or are currently battling the disease.
The event brought in more than $80,000 last year. This time around, Hall said she’d “like to do better,” and is counting on community support to make it happen. Rock the Block sponsors include Briggs Auto, Jack Ellena Honda, Radiologic Professional Services, P.A.; Dale Willey Automotive, Laird Noller Auto and Meritrust Credit Union.
Cancer, Hall said, isn’t necessarily a death sentence anymore, and Rock the Block is, after all, a party.
“It’s a celebration of life, it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come in our ability to fight cancer,” she said. “It’s a celebration of our circle of friends and loved ones who are with us in this battle.”
Tickets for Rock the Block cost $50, which includes food and drinks. They can be purchased online at www.lmhendowment.org, on the phone at 785-505-3318, or at LMH’s Endowment Association office, gift shop and Mario’s Closet boutique.
The event is 21-and-up. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs but leave pets at home.