Charleston Music Festical for A Cause aims to help ALS research

  • Monday, August 19, 2013

Determined to help combat the devastating disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Charleston-based musician Graham Whorley has organized the third annual “Band Together for ALS,” an all-day concert at the Brick House Kitchen to raise funding for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research projects nationwide. Featuring more than 11 bands and musicians, the concert fundraiser will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. In addition to performances from some of Charleston top musicians, Band Together for ALS also features regional and local vendors, corn hole tournaments and local food and spirits.

Whorley feels a deep commitment to raising funds for ALS research having lost his sister to the disease eight years ago.“My sister Laura was diagnosed with ALS at the same time that she was told that she was pregnant,” Whorley said. “She had my newphew while suffering through the torment of this disease. Heart breaking to say the least for her, her husband, her son and our family. I never want to see another family go through what we had to go though.”

ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. This progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis, and there is no cure.

Whorley described his sister Laura as being a “fun loving, intricate, beautiful, caring, truly wickedly wonderful person” and stated that it’s her inspiration that drives this event.

The full-day concert kicks off at 11 a.m. and features live music from top regional acts like Mark Bryan from Hootie and The Blowfish, The Legendary Drink Small, Ben Fagan & the Holy City Hooligans, Way Down in Dixie, Keith Kenny, Adande African Drum and Dance Company, The Hibachi Heroes, Rev. Doctor Johnny Mac and the Booty Ranch, Buddhist Prodigies, and Plow Ground. Event organizer Graham Whorley also will perform at the event.

“Band Together for ALS is a celebration of music and spirit,” Whorley noted. “ALS is a terrible disease, and we all need a day to celebrate the courage of those afflicted by the disease while joining together in love to take a stand against it.”

Tickets for Band Together for ALS are only $25 each. Purchase tickets and learn

more about the concert event at www.bandtogetherforALS.com.

Band Together for ALS is  produced by Graham Whorley with the support of Bright

Side of the Road Foundation. A mainstay of the southeast music scene, Graham Whorley has shared the stage over the last several years with Tim Reynolds, Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, New Riders of The Purple Sage, Lee Oskar of WAR, Members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Colonel Bruce Hampton, Brock Butler, Delbert McClinton, Keller Williams, and

Dumpstaphunk to name a few.

Bright Side of the Road Foundation has been called a very different type of fund-raising

organization, comprised of long-time friends of its founder who was diagnosed with

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2006. The foundation’s goal was to assemble a

collective of energy and resources for organizing events that raise funds for ALS

research. To date, the group has raised nearly $2 million in ALS research funding. The

foundation’s mission is to make grants to support activities and projects relating to the

causes, prevention, treatment and cure for ALS such as specific research, drug trials

and other medical and/or scientific programs identified as relevant.

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