An unforgettable night benefits youths battling cancer
Andy Grammer and Walker Hayes belted out their signature tunes to a crowd of thousands at WeishFest on Dec. 6 at 115 Bourbon St. in Merrionette Park.
The once-a-year intimate, indoor music fest held by The Andrew Weishar Foundation (Weish4Ever), raises funds for its mission dedicated to providing direct support and financial relief to families of adolescents and young adults battling cancer.
Dan Weishar started the non-profit organization after his brother, Andrew, passed away from cancer at the age of 21. Finding a way to "pay it forward" was Andrew's only request before he passed. During Andrew's three-year battle with cancer, Dan said thousands of people reached out in support. It was Andrew's hope to ensure other families facing this battle felt that same sense of community, kindness, and generosity.
"Cancer doesn't just affect the patient. It affects the whole family," said Dan.
Since the first WeishFest in 2013, top talent including Andy Grammer, Walker Hayes, Dispatch, O.A.R., Third Eye Blind, Easton Corbin, Rodney Atkins and Eddie Money has graced the stage along with dozens of local and regional bands. In addition to several hours of onstage entertainment, concertgoers enjoy an after party with additional acts and a DJ.
At this year's WeishFest, three new beneficiaries were each presented with a $7,500 check to bring some joy and financial relief. Thanks to WeishFest, The Andrew Weishar Foundation has supported 220 families battling cancer to date, directly granting to them over $1.1 million.
Every WeishFest is a year in the making. By early 2020 Dan and his team of volunteers will be hard at work securing next year's acts. Dan is grateful for the foundation's many partners and sponsors, including Gerald Subaru of North Aurora, without whom WeishFest would not be possible.
"We try to raise as much money as we can. We hope the financial support uplifts families and that through our foundation they know they are not alone in this," said Dan.
To learn more about The Andrew Weishar Foundation, WeishFest, or to donate, visit: https://www.weish4ever.org/donate.