September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In the United States, 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year. Approximately 25 percent will not survive.
The goal of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and to help raise funds for research and family support.
In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness, students at Dibrell Elementary were treated to a free concert Friday from up-and-coming artist David Fanning. The event was dedicated to the memory of those lost to childhood cancer and to honor the survivors. Gold is the color symbolizing the cause.
Five young cancer survivors were able to attend the concert and enjoy a close-up view of the entertainment from their front-row seats.
The Dibrell PTO sold T-shirts with proceeds going to Chelsea’s Hope for a Cure, an organization that supports local families affected by childhood cancer. Fanning also donated $3 for every youth-sized shirt that was sold at the concert to Dibrell PTO’s Childhood Cancer Drive.
Before the concert, Dibrell principal Lisa Paz-Mason spoke the names of those children lost to cancer, followed by a moment of silence. She then listed the cancer heroes to a round of wild applause from students.
Paz-Mason, PTO president Gidget David, and instructive coordinator Mandy Blankenship were instrumental in organizing the concert and benefit.
Fanning’s concert was a mix of country and current pop, encouraging the interaction of the students, who sang along with the music, danced in the bleachers, and cheered enthusiastically.
Entering the crowd for high fives with the children, Fanning also brought student volunteers Faith Judkins and Makenna Mason onstage to sing with him.
After the concert, Fanning signed autographs and posed for photographs with students.
At 24, Fanning was the youngest producer to ever produce a No. 1 hit song, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?” by Thompson Square, which was the most played song of 2011.
Fanning is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and was passionate about the opportunity to appear at Dibrell and support a worthy cause.
Said Fanning, “I came here to spread the joy of music with everybody. I always say in my shows to reach out and achieve your dreams. I found out we were able to support a good cause, so I wanted to do anything that could help out.”
David Fanning’s debut single “Doin’ Country Right” will be released by Red Bow Records in the beginning of 2015.
More information on Fanning can be found at www.davidfanningmusic.com.
Chelsea’s Hope for a Cure can be found on Facebook.
For more information on the American Childhood Cancer Organization, visit www.acco.org.