Grand Rapids fundraiser promotes the blues to cure cancer

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

Cancer took Becky Bunting’s father at age 50 and, four years ago, the disease took her 53-year-old brother, too. That’s when Bunting decided to do something to help advance cancer research and cancer support organizations. So she founded Blue Persuasion, a Grand Rapids fundraising non-profit initially designed to raise money by selling ‘blue’ things like bottled water or blue-plate specials at area restaurants.

Now Bunting, 49, has added blues music concerts to reach a new audience for the three organizations she supports: Make A Wish Foundation of Michigan, Thirsting to Serve and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grand Rapids.

“Every event makes money for all three groups,” Bunting says. “We’re trying to enhance what these organizations are already doing. We want to reach a part of the population that may not already be making donations, and to make it fun. Blues music speaks to the heart because it’s fun and it gets people motivated.”

A concert last winter at River City Slim’s featured the local Thirsty Perch Blues Band. But Bunting’s next event, the 2008 Dance of Life Celebration, features Thirsty Perch plus two national blues bands, Eric Lindell from New Orleans and The Homemade Jamz Band, an internationally acclaimed trio of siblings aged 9, 13 and 15, from Tupelo, MS.

“I don’t know of anyone else who’s doing blues concerts to bring people together for a great cause,” Bunting adds. “We have to do more to keep cancer from affecting our lives, and our children’s and grandchildren’s lives.”

Source: Becky Bunting, Blue Persuasion 

Deborah Johnson Wood is the development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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