By Jill Diver
LONDONDERRY — Breathe New Hampshire will hold a benefit concert, BreatheFest 2008, at the Tupelo Music Hall on Oct. 23, with up-and-coming musicians Michelle Cummings, Dale Reynolds and the band Rockspring.
Their sounds range from blues and rock to country and bluegrass.
Breathe New Hampshire, formerly known as the American Lung Association of New Hampshire, raises awareness for the challenges associated with lung health, including asthma management, keeping both indoor and outdoor air clean, and nicotine addiction.
Kelly Sicard, Director of Special Events, had the idea for BreatheFest. “People love music” she said. “We are trying to raise awareness and are trying to reach out to a younger crowd, and we thought we would try something new to raise funds.”
Sicard said breathing affects a person’s everyday routine and is cross-generational.
“I was more than happy to join as part of BreatheFest 2008,” said Cummings. “I grew up with asthma as a child. It’s great to now be involved with an organization so focused on research and promoting lung health. I’m truly honored — and excited for the performance.”
Not all who attend BreatheFest will be there because lung disease has touched someone close to their hearts, but Reynolds is doing this to honor a retired shop teacher who lived across the street from him.
“The last time we talked, Mr. Constantineau was saying goodbye because he had decided to spend his last summer, as he had many summers before, stuffing himself with lobster smothered in butter out on Prince Edward Island — his ‘favorite place on earth,'” said Reynolds. “His other option was treatment for the recently discovered lung cancer that was rapidly traveling throughout his body. I’m grateful he had that summer and trust that Breathe NH’s efforts will help prevent the need for others to make similar choices.”
Chad Verbeck of Rockspring also has a personal reason for participating in BreatheFest 2008, “My family and I have been involved with Breathe New Hampshire for the past 20 years due to family members having lung disease and cancer. The band is so excited about being involved with benefits that have community involvement and a positive message since our music has such a positive message.”
BreatheFest 2008 starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 437-5100 or visiting www.tupelohall.com.
This story ran in The Derry News on October 9, 2008.