CRANSTON – A concert this Saturday at The Park Theatre in Cranston will feature some of the region’s top musical acts, while helping to provide funding for critical support services to those fighting breast cancer, thanks to the vision and love of music of one North Smithfield man.
“Music Fights Cancer,” will feature three hours of entertainment and special guest appearances at the venue, and serve as a fundraiser for the Gloria Gemma Cancer Resource Foundation.
North Smithfield’s Alan Wardyga has put together the event, the first under his new business Turning Point Productions, Inc.
And he’s recruited 2019 Miss Teen RI Gianna Paul to help spread the word, and add to the fundraiser with a personal story about a family member who has battled the disease.
Wardyga, the former co-owner of North Smithfield-based business Wealth Management Resources, Inc., retired in 2017 after 25 years in the industry. He founded Turning Point this year with the goal of using his longtime love of music to help others.
The former financial advisor was a keyboardist in a band dubbed “Family Tree” in the late 1970s, and has stayed active in the local music scene, attending concerts and maintaining contact with other area musicians.
“Being a musician myself, and as the promotor of this event, I always wanted to make people happy using music as a way to relax, have fun and enjoy life as much as possible,” Wardyga noted. “Music fuels the energy that drives our soul.”
“Using music to raise money for a great cause like the Gloria Gemma Foundation just seems natural to me, creating a win/win beneficial situation for all concerned,” said Wardyga.
Opening the show will be the Big! Boom! Daddies!, a rockabilly, blues, swing and dance act, followed by Merchants of Cool, a tribute to the music of Journey and Foreigner that’s been playing music locally since 2011.
The headliner is “Danny Klein’s Full House,” celebrating music by the J. Geils Band with founding member Danny Klein.
Paul, a 19-year-old graduate of North Smithfield High School, has helped to promote the concert at events including the town’s annual Pumpkinfest, and will speak at the Saturday night fundraiser. Her mother, Patricia Paul, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2011, and had a two-year battle with the disease before she was deemed cancer-free.
The concert has been planned for October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and is one of many efforts by local residents to work toward helping to find a cure. North Smithfield resident Jennifer Jolicoeur recently broke a World Record as part of her fundraiser to fight the disease, and Burrillville resident Erin Todisco Place will host La Dolce Vita at Bella Restaurant on Saturday to raise funds for her walk benefitting Gloria Gemma.
Tickets for Music Fights Cancer cost $20 and can be purchased at turningpoint.productions, or at the door. The concert will take place at on Saturday, Oct. 19 at The Park Theatre at 848 Park Ave. in Cranston from 7 to 11 p.m.
Those who wish to donate to Wardyga’s fundraiser, but are unable to attend concert can do so here.
“I hope that everyone who attends this awesome music event, has a good time and feels great about themselves for helping a wonderful organization and the many people who have been affected by cancer in some way,” he said.