National Cancer Survivorís Day
By KRISTIE WILKIN
"National Cancer Survivorís Day" has very special meaning to the members of the former band "Aereon", a group of musicians that played together in New Philadelphia and surrounding areas during the 1980ís. Little did the teenage band members know back then, one of them would become a "Cancer Survivor" almost twenty years later, and because of this, their former band with the help of some other talented musicians would be performing at "National Cancer Survivorís Day" on Sunday, June 1 at the Pritchard Laughlin Center in Cambridge.
Four years ago, Mark Puskarich of Columbus, formerly of the Cadiz area, began thinking about reuniting the band and possibly recording some Christmas music in the form of a CD. He thought it would be a great way to share their music once again with family and friends. Although Aereon had not played together since the 1980ís, they were all interested in getting together for the purpose of making the CD, as well as enjoying the fellowship among friends. Mark originally introduced the idea to Cody Romshak of Piedmont, and Lorne and Corrina VanFossen of Uhrichsville. Once the idea received support, former Aereon member and now professional Christian artist Dave Clo of Nashville, Tennessee was contacted. Dave had his own recording studio in Nashville and his years of experience would contribute greatly to the project. In December, 1998, Cody, Mark, and Lorne went on a shopping trip to purchase upgraded recording equipment at CA House of Music in St. Clairsville, and plans went forward to create the CD in Codyís studio in Piedmont.
However, a little over a year into the project, in early 2000, Lorne the guitar player for the band received some devastating news that made the band stand back and re-evaluate their reasons for recording the CD. Lorne was diagnosed with Hodgkinís Lymphoma. Lorne, his wife, Corrina, and the other band members were of course very shocked at the diagnosis, and the CD project slowed as they all pulled together to support Lorne during his year-long battle with Cancer.
Soon after Lorne was on the road to recovery, Mark and Cody were at a Christmas party when Mark presented the idea to Cody to make the CD as professional as possible and sell it to raise money for cancer research. Some time later the title "A Christmas to Cure Cancer" was conceived and The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus had partnered with them on the project. This was all done as a tribute to Lorne, and as their contribution in the fight against cancer. The CD would consist of Christmas and seasonal music and contain diverse musical styles including blues, country, folk and even heavy metal. The four original "Aereon" band members participated in the recording as well as contributions from Rob Ragsdale, Lois Puskarich and Janet Gallucci. Chris Dauphin of Nashville, sat in on the three songs recorded in Dave Cloís home studio over Labor Day weekend 2001. In addition, Lorneís wife Corrina who is a member of Acoustic Grace and Sweet Harmony sang several songs for the CD as well as fellow vocalists Julie Lucas and Michele Clay, all members of the Sweet Harmony group. Thus, with contributions from all of these talented artists, "A Christmas to Cure Cancer" was born.
Mitch Fox of Carrollton and Rick Brown of Seneca Lake pitched in to help cover the songs on the CD for a live performance at a benefit concert last December. In addition, Jan Roll of New Philadelphia sat in on the drums to enable Puskarich to play the guitar on a couple tunes.
Lorne continues to perform, playing guitar with the band for Elvis Presley impersonator, Mike Albert, who performs nationwide. Fox and Roll also play in Albertís Group. Clo, the son of a former St. Clairsville Baptist minister majored in jazz at the University of Cincinnati and has written and published lesson books for guitar and bass guitar. Visit www.daveclo.com for more information. He has co-written songs and toured with several bands including Christian groups "All Star United" and "Superchick".
Later this year, two benefit concerts are currently scheduled during the holiday season. The first in Columbus on Friday, December 5th and the second in Dover on December 7th. You may visit their website at www.achristmastocurecancer.com to get more information on buying a CD and details on how to obtain tickets for this yearís benefit concerts.
The original "Aereon" foursome, Corrina VanFossen, Julie Lucas, Jan Roll, Mitch Fox and Don White will perform and share their story at the 16th annual National Cancer Survivorís Day at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center in Cambridge on June 1st. The event will be held from 1:00 until 5:00 p.m. All cancer survivors and their families living in Guernsey County and surrounding areas are welcome to attend this very inspirational and uplifting event. "A Christmas to Cure Cancer" CDís will be available for a tax deductible donation of $15.00.