Posted at: 11/23/2012 10:45 PM
(ABC 6 News) - Each fall around Thanksgiving, former members of a local band put on a fundraiser to help families dealing with life threatening illnesses. On Friday night the Booker Mini Band and several other acts played at the Mayo Civic Center.
This concert and the foundation it’s for, changed Lyndon and Tami Luke's lives.
"If it wasn't for the Booker Mini Foundation... we, we are so grateful to them," says Tami Luke.
Back in 2010, the couple had just bought a home together when Lyndon was diagnosed with a non-curable form of cancer.
"It rocked our world. We weren't prepared. Nobody's prepared for a cancer diagnosis," says Tami.
Lyndon’s cancer treatments led to bills and the bills started adding up.
"It was a lot all at once," recalls Tami. That was until a co-worker encouraged Tami to apply for the Booker Mini Foundation's grant.
"[They] came to our home and handed us a check and it was unbelievable," says Tami.
They're not the only ones. More than 100 families have benefited from, Lee "Mini" Powell, and Steve "Booker" Books, idea.
"Just unbelievable," says Powell. "It started with one of the band member's wife's had a battle with cancer and we decided to throw a party to raise money for them."
The pair even wrote a song for their friend, Roger, who had cancer and eventually died. Now, it's a reminder of why their music matters.
"I hope we keep doing it until we're 90," says Powell.
And for those still fighting their illness and all it entails, the donations are more than just money. They're two things every person fighting needs, hope and support.
"The grant from the Booker Mini kind of saw us through until we could get some permanent social security so we didn't lose our house," says Lyndon and Tami.
The fall concert is the group's major fundraiser but members also put on smaller shows throughout the year. The group says it has helped raise more than $300,000 dollars over the last seven years. This year their goal is to raise $250,000 dollars.