Rock ‘n’ roll relief: music benefits two local community members

Local band, Straight F’s, perform at Rock Out 4 Hope at All Star Lanes in Los Angeles on Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018. Georgia Arnold/The Occidental

Eagle Rock community members gathered at All Star Lanes, a local bowling alley, for a rock ‘n’ roll benefit show Saturday, March 10, from 7:30–11:30 p.m. The benefit show featured three Eagle Rock Bands — Straight Fs, Dahli Mamas and Thee Idylls — and had nearly 70 attendees, according to the Facebook event page. The benefit show raised $1,541 in donations and art sales, according to Thee Idylls’ Facebook post. The money will go towards two individuals: Traci Nevins Green, a vocalist and community entrepreneur suffering from ovarian cancer, according to her GoFundMe page, and Clara McLean, a 2-year-old diagnosed with Leukodystrophy, according to her YouCaring charity page.

A donation Jar at the benefit show, Rock Out 4 Hope, at the All Star Lanes in Los Angeles on Saturday, Saturday, March 10, 2018. Georgia Arnold/The Occidental

Eagle Rock Council members and musicians Matt Hemingway and Peter Finestone organized the benefit show. Hemingway is a member of the band Thee Idylls, while Finestone is a member of the Straight Fs. The Straight Fs formed about four months ago as a cover band, according to Finestone.

“[We] got together to play my wife’s birthday party because she got cancer too. Everyone liked it so we decided to keep playing,” Finestone said.

According to Hemingway, as a friend of the McLean family, he wants to use music to bring people together.

“I’m gonna die one day, and when I do, I want to make sure I’ve done some good in my life. Maybe one of the dollars [donated] will be the dollar that is the cure. That’d be awesome,” Hemingway said.

Matt Hemingway gives opening remarks for the benefit concert, Rock Out 4 Hope, at All Star Lanes in Los Angeles on Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018. Georgia Arnold/The Occidental

A L.A. native and Eagle Rock resident of 12 years, Finestone characterized Eagle Rock as an unlikely “anomaly.”

“It’s not normal to have so many people come together to support one another. It’s a really cool characteristic of where we live. That’s why we love it here. It reminds me of small town USA in a big city. It’s fun to play here. [All Star Lanes] has been here for so long,” Finestone said.

Eagle Rock community member Travis Betz said he felt compelled to show up as an Eagle Rock community member to support his neighbors.

“I’m doing my duty. It’s good to show face and support,” Betz said.

A voice teacher and entrepreneur, Green volunteers at her son Nevin Green’s school as a kindergarten music teacher while managing The Green Bean, a children’s toy shop located on Eagle Rock Blvd, according to her GoFundMe page. Since 2015, Green has dealt with Transverse Myelitis, an autoimmune disease characterized by an inflammation of the spinal cord. In December 2017, Green was diagnosed with a malignant mixed Müllerian tumor (MMMT), an aggressive ovarian cancer.

Green’s childhood friend Holly Branch Knief posted an update to the GoFundMe page March 4 on Green’s behalf regarding her wellbeing.

“Starting next week, I’ll have [six] more [chemotherapy] treatments ahead of me. Keeping strong, positive and trusting my body knows what it needs to kick ass!” Green said in the post.

Although the costs of treatment are unknown, Green’s GoFundMe page has raised nearly $20,000. This fund will go towards Green’s healing needs wish list, including a weekly organic food box delivery, in-home health care and food prep, a specialized juice blend and a possible trip to Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

McLean was diagnosed with Leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disorder that impacts the brain and spinal cord caused by the destruction of white matter in the brain. According to the McLean family’s YouCaring page, only a few thousand babies out of the 130 million babies born each year are diagnosed with this disorder. This disorder causes children to lose their basic abilities, including walking, speaking, eating and breathing.

Based in L.A., the McLean family has corresponded with Dr. Adeline Vanderver, a specialist in Leukodystrophies, who works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence. The McLean family has raised about $50,000 and aims to raise a total of $75,000 to cover projected travel and medical expenses.

Donations can be made to the Green family here and the McLean family here.