Are you ready to make some noise?
Jerry Duncan is. The North York music store owner and musician saw a silence and filled it with Relaystock, a new addition to the annual Relay for Life of York fundraiser to fight cancer.
"One of the reasons to do the music was to encourage people who have not been to a Relay event before to come out and see what goes on," says Duncan, 59. "The things the people are doing are really remarkable."
In Relay for Life, participants raise money through pledges and go the distance in a 24-hour walk-a-thon starting at 1 p.m. Friday, June 21, at the York County School of Technology in York Township. This year, Relaystock will feature live music for the walkers, volunteers and spectators on Friday night and Saturday morning. Seven bands have jumped in to add their voices to the fight against cancer.
"The talent in this area is just amazing and underrated," Duncan says. "We've got blues represented, progressive rock,¥'60s flashback nostalgia, indie modern alternative rock, contemporary Christian, straight-ahead rock-and-roll cover band, and regular Top 40 rock."
Duncan himself will be playing with his band, The DooZees, which he describes as "a¥'60s throwback British Invasion show."
"The Rolling Stones kind of made it cool to be an old guy and be in a band," he says with a laugh. "So a lot of us old guys who thought we were too old to get out and keep rocking decided to give it a try."
A personal touch: Playing at Relay for Life and organizing the music festival has personal meaning for Duncan, too. Watching his uncle struggle with pancreatic cancer made a strong impression on Duncan, who came to Pennsylvania nearly 40 years ago when his uncle and mentor offered him a job.
"He always encouraged me to play and to sing," Duncan says. Putting Relaystock together has allowed Duncan to "honor his memory by giving back some of the talents God has given me."
Memories, Duncan says, are entwined with music in a way that can bring a smile to a listener's face.
"Music has always been the tapestry or background track of people's lives," he says. "I think you will definitely hear a song (at Relaystock) that will make you think of a good memory."
Aside from the pure enjoyment of the music, Relaystock spectators have the chance to get involved in a worthy cause.
"It's important for people to come out and support an event like this, whether it's a financial donation or cheering somebody on or handing water to someone who's been walking," Duncan says. "I don't understand why we don't have the focus and the technology to say once and for all we're going to erase (cancer) from history like polio or smallpox."
This weekend, York County residents can go out and make some noise, make some memories, and make a dent in the fight to eradicate cancer.
The Relay for Life in York event runs from 1 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday at the York County School of Technology, 2179 S. Queen St., York Township. The Relaystock music festival will provide live music for all ages from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22.
Bands set to perform are Boom, Songsmith, Stonewall, Ninth Hour Legacy, The DooZees, The Go Around and Sons of Different Mothers.
Admission is free, but donations to benefit the American Cancer Society are welcome. Pledges for the event have topped $122,000.
For more information, visit relayforlife.org/payork.
- Reach Mel Barber at email@example.com.