This year’s sixth annual Rock for a Cure fund - raiser, held on Feb. 21 at the Lloydminster Exhi - bition Grounds, ended up a success with ticket sales for tables selling out in just six hours of being announced. Regular tickets also sold out a few days before the show, making for a packed crowd and high-energy event.
For the third year in a row the money raised will be going to Dr. Mackey’s pre-Phase 1 clinical trial through the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
“They take medications and stuff for cancer patients and get it to them quicker. Kind of cut through the red tape,” said Brandy Schwenk, president of I Love Alberta Boobs, the group who hosts Rock for a Cure.
Trent Bloch-Hansen of Lloydminster’s Artifi - cial Lift, one of the night’s opening bands, raised $4,000 alone by shaving his locks for the event. Along with Artificial Lift were Edmonton’s Tupelo Honey, who were back at this year’s show by popular demand.
“We didn’t have them last year and people were a little upset,” Schwenk said with a laugh.
The main event was former Poison frontman Bret Michaels, who had the audience cheering with old hits, new solo material and crowd-pleasing covers like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama and Sublime’s What I Got, as well as an impressive two-minute drum solo from his band’s percussion - ist. Michaels, who does a lot of work for charities, agreed to do the show when he heard what Rock for a Cure was about.
“We actually have mutual friends, so I talked to those friends and they put me in touch with him,” Schwenk said. “When he found out that’s what we were doing it for, he jumped on board right away.”
After their set was over Michaels’ band auctioned off their guitars to the audience to help with the cause.
As one could imagine, pulling off an event of this magnitude comes with a bit of stress, but even before all the anxieties of organizing this year’s show was over with, Schwenk was already thinking a bit about the next one.
“I have been thinking about it a little bit but these last few weeks just kind of preoccupied every - thing,” she said. “So, I have some bands I’ve been talking to but there’s nothing even written down yet. Next week I’ll probably start.”
Schwenk said she wanted to give a shout out to the Lloydminster community for all the support, saying they’re the only reason the group is able to pull of the fundraiser year after year.