Get your groove on at Gavers Barndance
Barndance is back. Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to move at the 13th annual Gavers Community Cancer Foundation Barndance. The fundraiser will run from 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, July 14 at Emricson Park.
The popular event raises money for Rush University Medical Center, Centegra Health System, Family Health Partnership Clinic, Wellness Place, Children’s Memorial Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Center, in addition to promoting cancer education and awareness in the community. Last year’s Barndance brought in more than 2,400 people.
“We’re on track to have a record crowd this year,” said Gavers foundation vice president Denise Graff Ponstein.
The evening will kick off with the famous chicken and pork chops dinner and equally famous special bottomless beer cup.
“[The dinner] is not run-of-the-mill,” said president and cancer survivor, Steve Gavers.
“It’s world famous … [and] I want to hit 100 barrels of beer this year,” he said, commenting on how much ale he hopes will be flowing into the crowd.
“We do keep safety in mind however,” he asserted.
In addition to the much-raved- about food and drink, a lively lineup of entertainment is set to fire up the crowd.
Wonder Lake native Jenae Cherry will provide the opening entertainment from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Cherry moved to Nashville three years ago and has been working as a serious musician ever since. She said she looks forward to coming home to her family and friends and performing at Barndance for the second year in a row.
“It’s a huge blessing for me to come home. My heart is still in Wonder Lake and Woodstock,” she said.
“[Last year] was so fun. Getting to play was such a good experience, and Steve Gavers became a good friend. The money you’re spending is going toward an amazing cause and to see everybody come together is really encouraging.”
Back by popular demand, the Spazmatics will take the stage at 9 p.m., followed by local favorites Hans and the Hormones to close down the evening.
The “Never be Defeated” awards ceremony and the live auction will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The awards are presented to inspirational people who have either faced cancer or have made a difference in the lives of others.
Gavers said this year’s live auction items will be better than ever – the Cheap Trick item in particular.
“People get to go and see the band Cheap Trick with me,” he said. “How great is that? What more could you want?”
Other live auction items will include a bar-top video-game system, complete with a large supply of pizzas and a pizza oven; a one-year golf membership to Boone Creek Golf Club, which will include a golf cart and a foursome invitation to the inaugural Gavers Golf Outing; a “Girls Gone Wild” weekend getaway primping package in Chicago for the ladies; a barbecue prepared by Sheriff Nygren and friends for eight lucky people; a romantic Chicago Trump Towers getaway; a “Boozer” package complete with an autographed Chicago Bulls Carlos Boozer jersey and tub of premier liquors; and a complete Weather Guard Van Solution package. In addition, the annual mystery box raffles, this year known as “mystery can cooler” raffle, will return to offer participants a one-in-10 chance of winning a prize plus a collector’s can cooler.
“It’s always different every year – always seems to get better and better. We strive [to have] a great time,” said Gavers.
“We’re only here for one lap – as a Nascar driver would say. We need to experience and enjoy [life] as much as we can.
“These have been 13 of the most incredible years … the message is getting out. The people of the community really come together to make it such a success. I want to give thanks to the police department and the community.”
Graff Ponstein said Barndance will be the best seven hours of the summer. Though Barndance is all about fun, its main objective is to raise awareness about cancer.
“If we can get one person to say ‘I will get checked’, we’ve met one of our goals,” she said.
Gavers Barndance 2012 tickets are on sale now for $50 per person.
For information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.gavers.org.