Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Out&About in the Cape!: Fests, breasts and bands offer something for everyone

The weekend was abuzz with plenty to do. Festivals and fundraisers rocked the city from North to South Cape.

As about 25,000 of you know, The Holiday Festival of Lights was another soaring success this weekend, complete with Santa, snow and the annual lighting of the tree. The Christmas spirit of giving continued through the evening and into Sunday, as well.

After the Festival of Lights, we headed over to Diamond’s Billiards, not just for a night cap, but to support Bridget Rewis. Those of you who have followed the story on know that Bridget has battled breast cancer. Saturday nights Fundraiser at Diamond’s was a creative way for her to raise money for her reconstruction surgery. Owner, James Oswalt and his fiancĂ©e, Mary, were more than happy to help, selling pink cups, offering drink specials and raffles. Representatives for Budweiser, Mike and Brian, were also more the willing to jump in and support the cause. Some of the prizes included weekend getaways, gift certificates, NFL tickets and merchandise. I am still waiting to hear the grand total for the evening. Bridget’s surgery is scheduled for December 12th. She will be rockin’ her new ta-tas by Christmas!

Diamond’s Billiards is always ready to step up to support great causes and find creative ways to give back to our community. Another local watering hole that is notorious for their generosity and community outreach is Leapin’ Lizard. In the past, they have held fundraisers for Veterans, but this Sunday night was all about Dale Brown. Dale, who is well known for his band BlackWater Fla., is said to be “The best country singer in the area. Easily.” That statement was made by Dale's good friend, and fellow vocalist, Robb Brooks of Robb N The Cradle, who helped organize the Pig Roast, Auction and multi band concert. Bands included Hung Jury, Soapy Tuna, Back Lash and Torched, who donated their equipment for all the bands to use. Jacki, lead vocalist of Torched, worked hard throughout the evening tweaking lights and sounds for all other bands. At 10:30, when it was their turn to take the stage, he made it clear that he was happy to do anything to support Dale and his family’s effort to raise money.

The event itself was a lot of fun, the bands were wonderful. I missed the food, however, I am sure it was mouth watering and satisfied the crowd. Attendees, like Sam Huber and James Saunders, were thrilled with their auction hauls and Robb Brooks, along with all the others, showed a great deal of support for Dale, who clearly must be an remarkable guy.

That being said, it would be an absolute injustice to him if I didn’t tell his story.
Dale had a mole on his back for as long as he could remember. Earlier this year it started to change and in his words “get real nasty”. His wife, Kristy, pushed him to go to the doctor. The first one wouldn’t touch it. He sent Dale to a dermatologist, who also wouldn’t touch it. His next stop was to the surgeon. In September, they diagnosed him with Melanoma cancer. Dale then lifted up his shirt to show me the 12 inch scar down his back and then under his arm. They ended up taking what he describes as the “size of a tuna can, only three inches deep” out of his back and removed his lymph nodes.

Dale’s message through the evening, with everything that he is now fighting, is awareness. If a photo of his scar or getting his message out saves one person from this virtually unpublicized form of aggressive cancer, he can feel good about that. Dales told me an astonishing number. One person, every hour, dies from Melanoma. In the time it takes me to resize my photos from the weekend, one person is gone. By the time I finish writing, another. Astonishing.

circle have been affected by Cancer it sickens me. It also strengthens my commitment to use whatever vehicle I can to raise awareness. On February 17th, the resort at Marina Village will host Mardi Bras and Boxers. The krewe is working hard to make this event Cape Coral’s premiere fundraiser for our Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. You can found out more information about Mardi Bras and Boxers on their facebook page.

The photo galleries saw a lot of action this weekend. Take a few minutes to check out the beautiful pictures of The Holiday Festival of Lights and this week’s “Out&About” photo gallery featuring Bridget and Dale’s events.

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