One potential donor admitted that she initially felt uneasy about the title of the proposed event — “Cancer Blows!” But that was before the Wednesday, December 3rd announcement at Kathie and Randy King’s marvelous home.
At 7 p.m. Event Co-Chairs D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock announced the new event that would take place on Wednesday, March 4 at the Meyerson.
But there was a back story. Perhaps that’s why Dallas Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Jonathan Martin was on hand.
It seems that Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpeter Ryan Anthony was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012. Sure, cancer in any form is a life-altering situation, but Ryan’s form of cancer was “a terminal cancer of the bone marrow that most often appears in patients 70 and older.” Ryan was a youthful 43 years old with wife, Niki, and two munchkins.
So, he battened down the hatches and undertook the battle against the disease with the help of the Baylor staff including Dr. Alan Miller. It was during his treatments that he heard time and time again from fellow horn blowers throughout the musical world that they wanted him to know that they were there for him.
But the Anthonys wanted to do more than conquer Ryan’s cancer. They wanted to help raise funds for research and treatment and to support the professionals who had been by their side. So, he organized his army of brassy friends like Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Loughnane and others for the get-together fundraiser for Baylor Health Care System Foundation and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Initially, organizers wanted to hold the event in New York City, but Ryan said, “No. It has to be down here.” As for the name “Cancer Blows!,” that was Niki’s idea.
Plans call for the trumpet players to spend Monday, March 2, visiting Booker T. Washington for a panel discussion that is open to the public followed by the musicians performing a concert/recording at Dallas City Performance Hall.
Tuesday, March 3, “select artists” will participate in master classes and clinics at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Wednesday evening the concert itself will have additional perks for key sponsors like a VIP Lounge and After-Party. There will also be a simulcast of the concert that will be open to the public.
Despite all this organization and planning, even Ryan hadn’t planned on the power of the D’s — D’Andra and her mom Dee Simmons. The power mom-daughter team can raise funds like spring flowers at the Arboretum.
On this evening, Dee took charge of auctioning off a dinner with Ryan and Niki. With her date Cary Maguire looking on, the blonde cancer survivor mounted a bidding competition among the crowd that included Honorary Co-Chairs Diane and Hal Brierley, Robin Robinson, Courtney Rottman, Suzanne and David Palmlund, Carol Seay, Laree Hulshoff, Ben Fischer, Tony McClung, Lynn McBee and Stacey and John Relton.
The results? No $500 supper. Nor even a $1,000 feast. How about $12,000!