Bands Against Cancer returns, thanks to diligent students

Bands Against Cancer, a charitable event with a mission to help cancer survivors and their families, makes an encore appearance thanks to a group of altruistic students and graduates from Spring Lake Park High School bent on championing a community cause.

Organizers Andrew Nguyen, second from left to right, Chris Nguyen, Houda Khatoon and Rana Syed, are among the Spring Lake Park High School students working together to present Bands Against Cancer. Chris Nguyen and Khatoon are cochairman and chairwoman. Stephanie Pi, left, will perform at the event. Nguyen, Khatoon and Syed graduated last weekend. Organizers not pictured are Mikala Smith and Rocio Jimenez. Photo by Elyse Kaner

Organizers Andrew Nguyen, second from left to right, Chris Nguyen, Houda Khatoon and Rana Syed, are among the Spring Lake Park High School students working together to present Bands Against Cancer. Chris Nguyen and Khatoon are cochairman and chairwoman. Stephanie Pi, left, will perform at the event. Nguyen, Khatoon and Syed graduated last weekend. Organizers not pictured are Mikala Smith and Rocio Jimenez. Photo by Elyse Kaner

The event, featuring six local bands, will be performed Saturday, June 15, 3-9 p.m. at Town Square Park across from Blaine City Hall. Admission is $7. All proceeds will go to the Minnesota Angel Foundation, a financial assistance program for people diagnosed with cancer, are in active treatment and meet foundation guidelines.

This is the second year for the event.

On the agenda at next week’s event is cancer awareness education, food, fun and a variety of music. Rock, pop, alternative and ‘50s and ‘60s music, to name a few styles. Band music will be interspersed with solos and comedy acts. T-shirts and food will be available for purchase. New this year, students from Spring Lake Park High School’s jazz band, featuring Madison Dempsey, will perform.

“It’s a fun event, a community event, there’ll be activities for kids,” said Chris Nguyen, event organizer, along with fellow organizer Huda Khatoon. Both students graduated from Spring Lake Park High School last weekend.

Among bands on the lineup are: Mother Earth, (Adam Trott, Donnie Kirksey, Brandon Holmquist and Ryan Delmonico) Oliver Quincy (Seth Christianson, Derek Younggren and Tarik Rasouli), Morning Person (Nate Pettigrew, Ryan Delmonico, Ian Ihde and Henry Donato), Harbor and Home (Kaleb Williams, Alex Kimball, Sam Nargan and David Laansma) and NSN (Samuel Roden, Noah Strohmayer and Nathan Mitchell).

Special performances will be given by Nick Ludgate, Stephanie Pi, Ben Allen and Matt Albers, James Pi, Catherine Nguyen, Daniel Pi, Amira Shanaa and Jack Fish.

And for some laughs, comedy acts will be presented by Sam Fish, Kyle Le and Cody Johnson.

Bands Against Cancer is presented by NguyenDustries, an events promotion entity started by Nguyen, the brainchild behind the event that debuted last year in Blaine’s Town Square Park. Nguyen and his buddies raised more than $2,200 for the Angel Foundation for the inaugural event.

Nguyen said the goal of Bands Against Cancer is to work with the community to promote awareness of the financially devastating effects of cancer and to help those dealing with it – “to help one another,” he said.

“We’re making a team effort,” he said about his friends who have volunteered to help work the event.

Nguyen said he is grateful for the support of Dan Buck, German teacher, and Mark Rotzenberg, mathematics teacher, both at Spring Lake Park High School.

Bands Against Cancer, held in conjunction with District 16’s community education, is sponsored by Blaine Parks and Recreation Department, Minnesota Oncology, Greater Midwest Realty and the Angel Foundation.

Nguyen, Khatoon and fellow volunteers invite community members to come out and enjoy the music, participate in the fun and support the fundraiser.

“Our greatest partner is the community,” Nguyen said. “For they’re the ones who have the greatest potential in helping us the most.”

Town Square Park is located at 10801 Town Square Drive. NE

To see a video or to learn more about Bands Against Cancer, visit www.facebook.com/slpbac.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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