CLEVELAND — Update, May 24, 2022 at 1 pm: A charity event supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that was scheduled for May 25 with a performance by Mike Polk Jr. and "The Stepdads of Galway" mostly-Irish cover band has been canceled due to COVID.
The event organizer, Autumn Ziemba-McKenzie, regrets the circumstances, but felt it was necessary to cancel the event for everyone's safety.
"Disappointed is an understatement," Autumn said. "We are extremely sad to have to cancel this incredible event, but we feel strongly it is the responsible thing to do. We were counting on this event to bring in significant donations for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so we hope that people will still consider making a donation to this worthy cause in honor of everyone who is fighting or has fought blood cancer."
Those who would still like to support blood cancer research may donate to Autumn's LLS fundraiser, here.
Original article published on May 19, 2022:
3News commentator, comedian and singing sensation Mike Polk Jr. and his Irish cover band, ‘The Stepdads of Galway,’ want you to join them to party for a purpose at a charity concert benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) next week.
The show, consisting of mostly-Irish music and comedy, will take place on the evening of Wednesday, May 25 at ‘Welcome to the Farm’ in the Flats East Bank.
The event is being organized by Autumn Ziemba-McKenzie, mother to 7-year-old Simon, who is a blood cancer survivor. Autumn is also a candidate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2022 Man & Woman of the Year award in Cleveland.
Man & Woman of the Year is a fundraising competition to support blood cancer research in communities across the United States. Candidates form powerful fundraising teams and compete in honor of individuals being treated for blood cancers, just like Simon.
In one of her daily posts on social media throughout this 10-week fundraising campaign, Autumn shared this message about her “why” for getting involved with fundraising for LLS:
“Nurses shouldn't have to be your child's best friends. Even though they will be. Even though they will lift you up endlessly and do anything to get one smile. Even though they will make doctors appointments fun and will bend over backwards just to get a sick child to laugh. They will do it all and more because they are the most tremendous, selfless humans. But they shouldn't have to.
“Kids belong on the playground. And in school. Kids should get to play with their peers instead of spending endless days in the hospital. Because kids fighting blood cancers deserve better.
“LLS has launched its Children’s Initiative to improve the pediatric standard of care. To find better, less destructive treatments. To find a CURE. Let's help them.”
In order to support LLS’s mission, tickets to The Stepdads of Galway show come with a required minimum donation of $10 per person. While organizers ask that people please make their donations in advance here, donations can also be made at the door. Those who donate in advance will be asked to show an email receipt upon arrival.
Welcome to the Farm co-owner Bobby Rutter has graciously offered to donate a portion of all drink sales to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ founder Ricky Smith has also agreed to share proceeds from any grilled cheeses and tater tots purchased from the ‘Really Amazing Food Truck,’ which will be parked at its usual spot alongside ‘Welcome to the Farm.’
Doors open at 6:30 pm, with the show scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm. Following the show, guests are invited to mingle with the organizers, the band and each other until 10 pm.
This is an adults-only event, for people ages 21 and over. Those who cannot make it to the show but would still like to support blood cancer research may donate to Autumn's LLS fundraiser, here.