Blues. It’s the sound of raw, unapologetic human emotion.
Born of struggle, hardship, overcoming adversity and living to connect our common experiences through the beauty of music, Blues has helped define the pure American sound. Originating in the Deep South at the end of the 19th century, no music genre is more American than the Blues… formed up out of spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants. While perhaps not one’s first thought when listening to the Blues, the range of emotions it evokes have a lot in common with those one experiences when impacted by cancer. The realization of the gravity of one’s situation when diagnosed, the struggle to survive through treatment and, in the fortunate situations, the hopefulness found in the sheer will to live beyond.
Project Blues was born first in the hearts of a few good men who had experienced cancer and helplessly watched loved ones struggle with the disease. The idea sprung up from the notion that there’s fellowship and healing in the Blues.
Pain. Fellowship. Passion. Healing.
This emotional journey brings us together in Project Blues.
The idea that was Project Blues began to grow from three simple questions: What if we could raise the awareness of the cancer resources available to those who need them but cannot afford them? What if we could connect more people to an opportunity to be diagnosed and treated earlier? What if we could sponsor families that were financially struggling to make sure they stayed in their homes and had adequate support for their needs while a parent was undergoing treatment?
And, what if we could do all of this using the platform of the Blues?
With those questions answered, today Project Blues is a philanthropic organization focused on meaningful projects related to Blues music that raise awareness and funding to help people impacted by cancer but without resources connect with resources that can help them. Project Blues partners with LifeCare Alliance’s Columbus Cancer Clinic to fund mammograms, adopt families and lift the spirits of their patients through the Blues. We connect the dollars raised with the people who desperately need them.
The brainchild of Mike Berichon, Project Blues really became his way to save his sister. She was THE Columbus Cancer Clinic client except there was no Columbus Cancer Clinic to help her. She didn’t get diagnosed in time and when she did it was too late and she passed away inside of three months. This tragedy deeply affected his family and forever changed him. Every day and every dollar raised helps Mike and the other Project Blues volunteers keep this devastation from happening to other sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters and families.
Our mission is to personally impact the lives of people who are dealing with cancer in some way, either they have it, or their lives are affected by it. Having cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence today, but unfortunately for those who are uninsured or underinsured, it often is. To change that, our goal in 2011 is to sponsor 250 mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women in Central Ohio. We also are aiming to adopt three to five families experiencing cancer. And, we are conducting free Blues Shows for the Life Care Alliance’s patients and clients. Plus, each year, are hosting a major Blue Show – our Project Blues Bash to raise funds to support our causes.
You Can Help
While we donate our services, it does take funding to pay for mammograms, family adoptions and Blues shows. You can attend our concerts – the biggest of which is September 11, 2011 (details are below). You can donate funds to pay for mammograms, family adoptions and outreach. And, you can volunteer.
The 1st Annual Project Blues Bash
The money you spend on tickets and event sponsorship help to further the Project Blues mission during the September 2011 Project Blues Bash. The 1st annual event — the likes of which this town has never seen – will be held at Columbus’ ultra-cool, historic and unique BlueStone event venue. Celebrating the birth of our organization and demonstrating our commitment to the cause, it boasts a line-up that will keep Columbus talking for years. As we like to say, even if you gotta glue your arms and legs back on and carry your car to make it, do it. Because, this is one show you won’t want to miss! This epic event will run from 1:20 pm until 9:00 pm, with a Blues EXPERIENCE unmatched within the Midwest:
The Mammogram Drive
Did you know that $100 can save a life? How? It funds one mammogram through Project Blues. Very directly, very personally, you can donate $100 to pay for the mammogram of one central Ohio woman who needs one. The reality is that mammograms save lives. But, there are many women who don’t get them because they don’t have health insurance. For them, there’s no primary care physician or OB/GYN recommending a mammogram and checking in regularly to ensure she had it. It’s those women we strive to help through Columbus Cancer Clinic.
We know that music brings healing. Imagine being in the hospital recovering from cancer treatment, and then getting a surprise visit from a Blues artist who wants to jam just for you. It’s a little joy in an otherwise joyless situation. Through our Cancer Clinic Visits, we will perform live Blues shows at local cancer clinics. Plus, we will donate a guitar and amp to the recreation area of the clinic for patients to use. We want to bring smiles to faces along with a little escape from the realities of cancer to the patients we see. Maybe we’ll make a few friends and inspire a new Blues artist. You can volunteer to go on visits with us and you can donate funds for guitars and artists expenses.
Cancer can equal homeless and hopeless. Many people don’t know that. But, imagine you and your wife both work and you have children. Imagine one of the parents is diagnosed with cancer. That parent can’t work and the other must quit their job to navigate all of the upcoming doctor’s visits and treatments. You might even lose your health insurance along with the job. Paying bills will become impossible and so will keeping your house. We are planning to “adopt” families in this type of situation to act as a financial bridge to help them stay in their homes and make ends meet. Your donations go a long way toward paying the expenses these families need just to make ends meet.
Want to Volunteer
If you love Blues music and you want to have an impact on your neighbors, consider donating or joining our volunteer force. You’ll be joining folks from Mediu, LifeCare Alliance, Commerce National Bank, Optimum Plastics, Jontaar Creative Studios, More Marketing, DSW, BizCarta and many others to save the brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children from a disease that no longer needs to be a death sentence – for anyone in any socioeconomic group.
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