Breast is the word for Saturday night. On Oct. 13, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. a bounty of local and regional female singer-songwriters will perform at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs for the first ever Breast Fest Ball, with all proceeds from the benefit going towards the Martha’s Vineyard Breast Cancer Support Group.
Larry Laverdure, the main brain behind the event, plays the bass in Larbear (“that’s me,” he said) and the Lazy B band which consists of Emily Hunsaker and Andrea Dello Russo. Also on the evening’s lineup are Carly Simon, Nina Violet and many more.
“I just thought it’d be a good idea to highlight female singers of the Island,” Mr. Laverdure said.
Mr. Laverdure admits he was inspired by an HBO special called Divas which featured female pop stars doing their thing.
“I’m in a band with some awesome females, so I wanted to do a Martha’s Vineyard Divas,” he said.
With a whirlwind of women on board, Mr. Laverdure thought why not benefit some special lady parts and contacted Hanna Beecher, co-chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Breast Cancer Support Group.
Ms. Beecher said the money from the benefit will financially assist breast cancer patients with wig purchases, home care costs and transportation costs off-Island for doctor appointments and treatments.
After being diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2009, Ms. Beecher had to travel to Boston twice a month for chemotherapy and to Hyannis for radiation treatment every day for six weeks.
“The big thing is transportation,” said Ms. Beecher. “With boat tickets... it’s a hassle and it gets expensive.”
The support group also helps link women with organizations like the American Cancer Society, which maintains a free wig bank, and Angel Flight, which provides free flights for those with medical needs.
Ms. Beecher said the group first started as three or four people meeting at the Vineyard Haven library. Now between ten and fifteen people meet monthly at Isabelle’s Beach House in Oak Bluffs.
“It was started by two other women who were both survivors who thought it’d be a good idea to have a forum where they could talk about concerns, questions, fears and experiences with other survivors and patients,” said Ms. Beecher. “Cancer is a scary thing. Especially for people who are first diagnosed. They don’t know what to expect. I think it’s helpful for them to be able to talk to survivors who have been through it and have come out the other end.”
Other Vineyard artists set to perform on Saturday include Jemima James, Lexie Roth, Treather Gassman, Sabrina Luening, Marciana Jones, DJ Di and Pretty Ninja, and a handful of singer-songwriters boating over from Boston.
Tickets are $10, doors open at 7 p.m. at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs. Mr. Laverdure encourages attendees to dress your best (it’s a ball, after all) and wear a pop of pink in honor of national breast cancer awareness month.