Archived Story

McDowell concert to benefit cancer research

Published 8:12am Wednesday, March 16, 2011

At the end of the month, Franklin County residents will once again welcome a familiar face back to the historic Roxy Theatre stage.

Popular performer Ronnie McDowell will be stopping in Russellville on March 26 as part of his “Greatest Hits Tour 2011” and all proceeds will go to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life through the Will’s Willing Walkers team.

The Will’s Willing Walkers team was first formed 15 years ago to support team co-captain Cynthia Scott’s son, Will Scott, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was only 18 months old.

“We started this team to raise money for cancer research so some other child or their family wouldn’t have to suffer like Will did,” co-captain Wanda Myrick said. “The team is made up of a lot of different people who have had family or friends affected by cancer, and everyone on the team gives so much of their time because we all just want to work together to help find a cure.”

So many other people are put in similar situations and face the harsh reality of losing a loved one like the Scotts did when Will passed away at the age of four.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 569,490 people in the United States died from some form of cancer in 2010, and each one of those numbers represents even more people who were affected by the loss of that friend or family member, which is something that Will’s family knows all too well.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another, whether it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker or an acquaintance,” Myrick said. “That’s why we should do all we can to support causes and events that raise money to find a cure.”

To help raise money, Myrick said Will’s Willing Walkers has two teams that sponsor other fundraisers like the “Celebrity Waiter,” “Doggie Parade,” and “7th Annual Open Bass Fishing Tournament,” which will also be held on March 26.

But Myrick said the Ronnie McDowell concert is something she knows Will, who would have been 17 years old this past January, would have enjoyed.

“Ronnie was always amazed at Will and he loved to talk and play with him,” Myrick said. “At one concert, Will was playing in the aisle and Ronnie came down to sing with him.

“Ronnie has done other fundraisers for us in the past and he’s very compassionate when it comes to children, especially ones with cancer, which he supports through the Ronnie McDowell Cancer Foundation.

“We appreciate him taking the time to come here and help us raise money for such a worthy cause.”

Myrick, who serves as the chairman of the Ronnie McDowell concert, said the singer’s concerts have always gone over well in this area.

“This will be a great, family-friendly show,” Myrick said. “There will be a great mixture of rock, country, soul and gospel so there will be music that everyone can enjoy.

“Ronnie will be doing a lot of his older music, his number one songs and songs he is well-known for. Of course he’ll do some Elvis and Conway songs, but he’ll mainly be performing his music.”

Myrick said McDowell has always been good to this area because he said this area has been good to him. (He has been given the key to the city twice, was named an honorary member of the Russellville Police Department and has a street named after him).

Myrick said McDowell has also generated a lot of money for the county during the 21 years he has been performing here.

“He has a pretty wide fan base and we’ll have people here from Florida up to North Carolina,” Myrick said.

“Ronnie considers Russellville like a second hometown, which is why he planned to do his show here on his birthday.

“It will be a fantastic show, and we hope everyone can come out and enjoy some great entertainment while supporting a great cause.”

Also performing at the show will be McDowell’s sons, Ronnie Jr. and Tyler Dean; Millie Kirkham, who is known for singing with renowned singers such as Elvis Presley and George Jones; and local singer Brooklyn Hall.

The concert will be held Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at the Roxy Theatre in downtown Russellville. Reserved tickets sell for $25, $20 or $15 and can be purchased at Abstract & Appraisal, Inc. For more information call 256-332-3270.

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