The musician who started it won't be there, but the show will go on for the Fourth Breast Cancer Benefit Reunion Concert & BBQ at Up a Creek Tavern.
Howland native Tommy McCoy, who created the event in memory of his wife, who died from breast cancer in 1997, has to have surgery this week and is unable to travel to Ohio from Florida, where he now lives. But others have stepped forward to make sure the fundraiser continues.
Louise Damstoft-Hathaway, who performs under the name Madam Weez and will serve as host for the concert, said, ''We were a little bit panic stricken (at first), but these guys from Howland are amazing. I thought it was all going to be thrown on me, but everyone came to my aid.''
Even before McCoy's health issues, organizers planned to return the benefit to a single day after adding a second concert at Packard Music Hall in 2011 in addition to the Up a Creek event. Damstoft-Hathaway said last year's two-day event brought in more money, but there also were more expenses. The net proceeds were higher, but not enough to justify the extra effort involved in expanding from the original concept.
This year's event also will have a new beneficiary, Humility of Mary Health Partner's St. Joseph Cancer Center in Warren. Damstoft-Hathaway said she took a tour of the cancer unit and was impressed with the work they do there.
Saturday's concert will feature many of the musicians who played the dances and clubs in the Mahoning Valley in the late '60s and early '70s will perform as well as bands that currently play in the Valley. While Tommy McCoy won't be there, his brothers Gary and Mark are returning from Atlanta, and Gary will reunite with his Holes in the Road bandmates Doug Thomas and Gary Sloas, who currently play in the Sonic Boomers.
The tentative schedule is:
4 p.m.: Rick Hartley
4:30 p.m.: Madam Weez
5 p.m.: Damian Knapp
5:30 p.m.: Wankel
6 p.m.: The Bridge
6:30 p.m.: Shades of Gray
7 p.m.: Sideshow
7:30 p.m.: Dennis Drummond
8 p.m.: Roger Lewis Band
9 p.m.: Roger Hatfield's Voyage & Antoinette
10 p.m.: Holes in the Road & Sonic Boomers
11 p.m.: Full Moon All-Stars Jam
Admission is a $10 donation, which a pulled pork dinner prepared by Chef Anthony and T.J. Taylor.
The fundraiser also has become an unofficial part of Howland High School reunions for classes that graduated during that period.
''The people coming back love being able to see all the bands from that era,'' Damstoft-Hathaway said. ''People who don't make it one year, they come back the next year. It's snowballed into something bigger than me and Tommy.''
They hope to draw at least 500 people on Saturday and raise at least $5,000 for St. Joe's. Holes in the Road also will perform at Up a Creek, 4793 E. Market St., Howland, on Friday and will sell advance tickets and T-shirts for the cancer benefit at its gig.
The music is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and end around midnight, although Damstoft-Hathaway said the start time could be moved up to accommodate all of the musicians interested in participating and she doesn't expect the music to stop when the clock strikes 12 either. She expects at least 50 musicians to perform over the course of the show.
''My goal is to get everyone up to perform at least one song,'' she said.