The Blue Monday Concert Series returned today with a benefit concert for a local cancer patient.
A number of musicians turned out today to raise funds for cancer treatments for Patricia “Tisha” Childress, wife of KBON 101.1 Radio personality, Hoss Childress.
The open-air concert and lunch service happened in the courtyard of The Grouse Room in Downtown Lafayette.
The show was sponsored by Lafayette Roofing & General Contractors, and adhered to current COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The line-up included Marc Broussard, Anthony Dopsie, Cedric Watson, Ray Boudreaux, Roddie Romero, and special guests Sarah Russo, Sharon Thomas, and brothers Lane Mack and Billy Mack.
The fundraising need arose in late December, when Tisha was admitted into Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center with abdominal pain, and instead was told about cancerous masses in the abdominal region. Now, she and Hoss face mounting medical bills, and a Facebook fundraiser has also been made in their names.
Matt Chiasson, owner of the Grouse Room, said his business was honored to host the event.
"Miss Tisha has cancer right now, so we have a ton of musicians, an all-star line-up, that's coming today to pay tribute to her and to help to raise funds for their medical costs," Chiasson said. "We're simply the host, but we're very excited and proud to be able to give back to our community in this way."
Chiasson said the Grouse Room's courtyard helps them continue to have concerts in the pandemic.
"It south Louisiana, we're a giving community, and we want to give back to our own people, and to set that example is probably the biggest part of this. We're laying the platform for more of these events to come," he said.
He said most musicians have been hit the hardest during the pandemic, but they were still willing to come out today to help the Childress family.
"This shows their heart, and what they're willing to do, even after they've been shut down for a year, they're still willing to give back," he said.
Blue Monday aims to raise funds while also providing safe entertainment and opportunities for under-booked creatives.
Blue Monday Mission believes that community has the ability to uplift, now, more than ever. Childress is a tireless ambassador for South Louisiana, and his dedication to our culture can be heard loud-and-clear every weekday morning on KBON 101.1. He has also been heard for years over the public address at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns sporting events.
According to BMM and Love of People’s founder and president, John Williams, artist Carol Fran, First Lady of Blue Monday, once said to “give me my flowers while I’m still here.” BMM hopes to give the Childress family their “flowers.”
BMM has orchestrated meal programs during the pandemic, provided covid-safe entertainment for seniors in partnership with the Lafayette Council on Aging, and coordinated smaller performance opportunities for associated musicians, at a time when there were none.
“The pandemic has wreaked havoc on our jobs, our families, our mental states and our culture itself,” said Williams. “The best tool we have to ease these effects is to turn to our creative economy. “ “The power of music, undeniably, has a healing effect,” Williams added. “Now, our musicians, service industry workers, medical staff, and everyone need healing from the stressors of this prolonged pandemic.”
“Our music, our food, and our community is what will carry us through these tumultuous times,” Williams continued. “We’re hoping the creative community can help carry Tish and Hoss through their difficult times.”
BMM would also like to acknowledge “Mask Up, Y’all,” in honor of the families of David Guarisco and Minos Douren, who died from complications of contracting coronavirus.
Donations to the Childress medical fund can be made here.