Hat Sale for Helpers of Hairless Hottie

In Music, Near By Events, Shopping on April 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Friday, April 16, 8:00pm

Attendees of the Friday, April 16 “Cancer Sucks, Life Rocks!” fundraiser concert at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook will save 15% when they  purchase hats in stock at Chester’s C&G boutique on Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18. Discounts at other area businesses are in the works, and will be announced during the concert.

The show will raise funds to help Debi Friedlander pay the costs of her battle against breast cancer, and features award-winning musicians from around New England — many of them with cancer stories of their own.

Tickets can be purchased at the Kate’s online box office, or by calling 877-503-1286.

Debi and her husband John hosted Church House Concerts, a popular music series presented between 2001 and 2009 in their home, a former Haddam church.

Debi was diagnosed with breast cancer on September 30, 2009, just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Her treatments ended in March, leaving her with an excellent prognosis, no hair, and a mountain of bills.

“Debi’s attitude through this whole experience has been incredible,” says John. “She has met every challenge with a smile, and she’s been an inspiration to others on cancer journeys of their own. She didn’t bat an eyelash when she lost her hair during chemotherapy — she couldn’t — they all fell out!”

Having no hair during winter took some getting used to, and Debi developed a fondness for hats. A recent trip to C&G turned into an impromptu photo session, and then into a friendly mutual promotion project.

“Very few people can get through a major medical experience without being hit hard economically, and we have some catching up to do,” explains Debi. “This concert will be a fun way to celebrate the end of my treatment, give our friends and supporters a great night out, provide discounts on other fun stuff in the area, and generate more attention for some of the businesses who have helped us get through the hardest winter of our lives.”

“Putting on a show is a natural for us,” says John. “And this will be one of our best ever. The Shinolas are a musical Dream Team, and the other performers on the bill are some of the best in New England.”

The Shinolas feature two of New England’s most in-demand performer/producers — drummer, guitarist and singer Lorne Entress, and multiple Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated guitarist and singer Jim Chapdelaine, himself a thirty-year cancer survivor. With Paul Kochansky on standup and electric bass and East Haddam neighbor Ed Iarusso on pedal steel guitar, the Shinolas move effortlessly from rock ‘n’ roll classics and rootsy Americana to country favorites — an ability that earned them the Hartford Advocate’s 2009 Best Band award — though the “Country” category was unexpected.

At least three other New England performers will join the Shinolas on stage.

Mark Erelli is an accomplished Boston-area singer songwriter with a national and international audience which appreciates the polished, well-crafted original songs he has packed into his nine CDs to date, including five produced by the Shinolas’ Lorne Entress.

Joan Schroeder has been singing in Connecticut’s best country-inflected bands over the last thirty years, including Bolton Notch and Aces & Eights, and is now singing with one of the founding members of Blue Oyster Cult in Joe Bouchard’s Tree Top Band.

Amy Fairchild is a Boston-area folkish-rocker, has won many awards with her songs, and combines powerful vocals with a driving, confident delivery.

In addition to the music, complimentary wine, light appetizers, dessert and coffee will be served during the intermission. Four Old Saybrook restaurants have also offered ticketholders discounts on pre-show dining: Fiore, Liv’s Oyster Bar, Aspen, and the Penny Lane Pub.

Further information about the event, dining discounts and after-show discounts can be found at the event page on the Friedlanders’ blog about their cancer journey, The Debi Report.


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