TonyPalooza benefit in Ohio a big success

Friends and bluegrass lovers in southwestern Ohio got together over this past weekend in honor of Tony Kakaris, bass player with Nightflyer, and a well-known personality in the music scene thereabouts. He is undergoing treatment now for a difficult cancer, multiple myeloma or bone marrow cancer, which reached an advanced stage before being properly diagnosed because it was believed that pain he was suffering was related to kidney stones.

Though Tony has stepped aside from the band for now, he was able to attend the concert and even joined them for their final song. Event organizer Lyn Hayes tells us that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he hobbled to the stage, passed off his cane, and grabbed the bass.

It is estimated that between 300-500 people attended on Saturday in Monroe, OH, and that more than $12,000 was raised to assist Tony and his wife, Marsha, with mounting expenses. In addition to direct donations at the door, close to 100 items had been donated for raffle and auction sale during the day, plus food items that were sold while music was played on stage. Seven different bands donated their time to entertain, and the mood overall is reported to have been positive and upbeat.

Here’s video of the big moment when Kakaris made his way to the stage, to the delight of all in attendance.

We share the best wishes of everyone at the concert for Tony’s complete recovering. Anyone called to make a donation can do so on the GoFundMe page set up for his medical expenses.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.