Last week, we were blown away by the kindness and selflessness displayed by friends and loved ones of a brave woman named Ann Pendley, who has been fighting cancer for over a decade.
We have toured in Colorado several times, and started building a nice fan base there. Many of our devoted listeners know my sister, who lives in Fort Collins and is a woman with many friends and a huge heart. For some time, people in the area have mentioned that I should try to share a show with local legend Liz Barnez, a fantastic performer who tours extensively and is quite well known. One day, Diana (also a friend of my sister) asked if we would consider flying to CO to play for a benefit for Ann, sharing the night with Liz Barnez. Although we knew it would be quite a financial investment for us, Diana sweetly offered us some help, we booked another show to make up some money, and saw it as a great chance to help someone out. Besides, we always love visiting family in Fort Collins and Denver (where we now have two more sisters living)!
We didn't know that we were about to walk into a room filled with the best examples of all humanity, and so much love. The crowd listened attentively as we played, interacting, appreciating, make US feel loved with two standing ovations. I had never met Ann, but I found myself tearing up as I listened to testimonies about how precious and inspirational she is to so many people.
I hate cancer. I hate what it does to people's bodies and lives and families. But if there is one sliver of hope that comes from this disease, it is that it brings people together and brings out the best in them. I believe the total raised that night with the show, dinner and auction was over $12,000. It brought to mind a recent benefit we did for my dear longtime friend Debra Hardin at The Blue Note in Columbia, MO. There was a performance and auction that night as well and the total raised was over $10,000. We can't erase the pain and hardship cancer brings these beloved people, but we can make a difference and help let them know they are not alone.
I am lucky beyond measure to get to do this with my music.