It's no secret that Tulsa musicians are incredibly supportive of charities and good causes. Bands across the city regularly donate their time and performances for charity events and fundraisers for a variety of great organizations. When tragedy hits close to home and affects one of their own, however, it changes the game.
After all, even amidst differences in styles and opinions, our local music community is much like a family and when someone on your family is affected by a life threatening illness or situation, it goes from serious and tragic to downright bone rattling.
This past Labor day, Zach Short -- who is a well-respected musician who played bass in Swamp Fox and Televised -- was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma, one of the more rare and aggressive forms of cancer.
Once the diagnosis was made, there was no waiting. He was sent almost immediately to MD Anderson to begin equally aggressive treatments and chemotherapy. After initially spending nearly a month in Houston, he was finally allowed to return home between treatments and now spends one week per month at the hospital and the rest at home with his family in Bixby.
In the process, Short's spirits have understandably gone up and down, but as you know if you're a friend and have followed him on Facebook and Twitter, his resolve continues to grow stronger as he is determined to beat the disease. Travel and treatments are costly, however, and the toll it has taken on his body doesn't allow him to work -- leaving him and his family in a precarious situation as he continues to get treatments to fight the cancer.
When a local musician is in need, his brothers in arms often take up the mantle in his place and that is, in part, what is happening this Sunday night, Nov. 27 with the "Zach is Greater Than Cancer" fundraiser and birthday party at Fassler Hall. Johnna Hayes started the wheels rolling for the event by getting a number of restaurants and local businesses to donate gift cards. As other friends also stepped in to help organize the event, Zach was included in the planning process and he helped pick the bands that will be playing, all of which are stepping up to help.
When all the pieces fell together, what resulted is a party to celebrate Short's birthday (which is Monday) and an event to raise money to help his family pay for medical expenses. The bands that will be playing are: Chelsey Cope, Able & the Allies, Lizard Police, The X-Cal Experience, And There Stand Empires and The Fiddlebacks. The Party starts at 7pm and music will continue until midnight with Zach in attendance and taking the stage with The Fiddlebacks (whose current lineup includes Ben Mosier and Shawn Kintz, his band mates in Swamp Fox).
Tickets will be $10 at the door with 100 percent going to the Short family to help pay for treatment expenses. Tickets will be given at the door, with drawings held throughout the night for gift certificates from a number of local restaurants as well as additional door prizes.
The evening will also include an auction for customer designed Fender Strat, which has been donated for the event and will be signed by Short.
Most importantly, the evening will celebrate Zach's life and the motto that has popped up regularly online: "Zach is Greater Than Cancer" (of which bumper stickers have also been created and made available for purchase at the show). Be sure to come out, join the party and spend and donate liberally, because all proceeds go to one of our own. Zach WILL beat this and you can help play a small part in his fight.
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