Musicians, community jump to aid of friend battling cancer
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Jeanette and Dave Hill had just paid off the last of the medical bills from Jeanette’s last go-around with breast cancer three years ago, when she got word in January that the cancer had returned.Word got around quickly, though, especially in local music circles where Dave Hill has been a staple for 18 years as a member of The Dags and other bands. They’re all coming together to help their friends in need for a big benefit on Sunday in Glenwood Springs.The “Jumpin’ Jive for Jeanette” benefit takes place from 2-8 p.m. Sunday at the Beau Jo’s at Buffalo Valley Sports Bar, bringing together a variety of Roaring Fork Valley bands and individual musicians.Included in the line-up will be nationally known Jimmy Ibbotson (of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame), along with Altitude Control, The Whittingtons, 3 Legged Dog, The Rock Dogs, Jimmy Dykann, John Zajicek, Steve Skinner’s Stimulus Package, Billy Jensen and Chris Harrison, Bobby Mason & Friends with Haden Gregg, The Dags, Harleywood, and Big Daddy Lee & the Kingbees.Appetizers will be donated by The Bayou, The 19th Street Diner, Rivers Restaurant, Fin’s Grille and other local eateries.There will also be a drawing for a grand prize one-year pass to the Hot Springs Pool, and a huge silent and live auction with items including guitars signed by the likes of Jimmy Buffett, John Oates and Jimmy Ibbotson.”It’s kind of overwhelming,” Jeanette Hill said Thursday. “I feel very loved. I guess that’s what you get for having so many friends.”It happened to be one of her “good days,” as she undergoes a series of intensive cancer treatments to including eight IV chemotherapy treatments over the past nine weeks. Jeanette was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, and had a recurrence in 2006.This time, she was told by her oncologist that she has metastatic breast cancer, a particularly aggressive, genetic type of cancer that will likely require a lifetime of treatment.While the Hills have health insurance, they said they are attempting a number of experimental drugs and treatments that aren’t covered.”One of the drugs costs over $40,000,” Dave Hill said.He admitted he was a little reluctant at first to do the benefit. But, for someone who has played at numerous benefits himself over the years, he figured it was OK for he and Jeanette to be on the receiving end.”We used to do a dozen benefits a year with The Dags,” he said. “Unfortunately, there’s that much of a call for it. We’re just lucky to have people who care so much about what’s going with people.”One of the organizers of Sunday’s event is Harley Strambaugh, a musician himself with the band Harleywood, who has organized other benefits, including recent gigs for fellow musicians Bobby Mason and Haden Gregg who were also dealing with health problems.”Jeanette’s is a whole different story,” Strambaugh said. “Her life is on the line, and it’s much more emotional and taxing for everyone involved.”I knew they needed help, and it’s not a cheap thing what they’re doing,” he said. “This is the least we can all do.”Strambaugh said the key to organizing a benefit concert with multiple bands is to have a single sound system and stage set-up, so that there’s not a lot of time wasted between bands.”I have their trust to put up the backline, so they don’t need to bring all their equipment,” said Strambaugh, who also helped organize the local Battle of the Bands, a benefit for local youth music programs inviting young musicians and bands to compete for prizes.”I’m also a musician at heart, so I love doing these things,” he said. “I don’t go looking for it, but I’m happy to do what I can.”The concert benefit is drawing family and friends of the Hills from as far away as Oregon and Iowa. Beau Jo’s is also offering room specials for anyone who wants to stay at the on-site motel, and a shuttle bus will be available to take people as far away as New Castle, Silt and Rifle after the event.There will be a $20 donation asked at the door Sunday. For those who can’t make it, donations for the Hills may also be made at any Alpine Bank under the benefit name “Jumpin Jive for Jeanette.”email@example.com
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