Concert raises funds for cancer research

I.C.O.N. Products, in partnership with STOP CANCER, hosted the first annual “Cure Rocks,” a benefit concert on Monday with proceeds going toward funding research grants for breast cancer research at USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

I.C.O.N. Products, an international hair care company, held the benefit concert at Whisky-A-Go-Go in West Hollywood. The stars arrived on the red carpet at 7 p.m. and the concert ran from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

In addition to helping the Norris Center, proceeds also benefit the City of Hope and UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

I.C.O.N. Products’ partner, STOP CANCER, has donated $65 million dollars to the three cancer centers and has worked with them for more than 25 years.

Chiara, I.C.O.N. Product’s owner, has personal ties to breast cancer awareness, as a survivor herself. The partnership with STOP CANCER, therefore, began in 2007 with a desire for her and her company to make a change.

“The partnership came about through one of our longtime members in the business world who made them aware of the work STOP CANCER does,” said Bette Bergsman, executive director of STOP CANCER. “I.C.O.N. found we would be a perfect fit because they wanted to get into the business of helping raise money to fund breast cancer research.”

Norris, along with the two other cancer centers, pledged to match every dollar contributed with a dollar of in-kind support to each awardee.

The additional money will help fund researchers’ space, equipment, telephones, lab supplies, administrative services and underlying salary support.

General admission tickets were $25, and VIP passes, which gave concert-goers a meet and greet with performers Lita Ford or All-4-One, cost $50.

Hosted by Courtney Sixx, the concert lineup began with alternative country artist Jourdain LaFleur. American R&B/pop group All-4-One, British-American legendary rock guitarist Lita Ford and electro-indie artist Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff were also among the performers. DJ Jessica Melody finished the show. These artists represent many different genres of music, from electronic dance music to rock.

“The assortment of artists from different genres brings a diverse audience to the event, which, in turn, brings more breast cancer awareness to people from different backgrounds,” said Alex Koops, a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering.

Though the artists spanned many types of music, they all used their talent to share how breast cancer has affected their lives, whether it be themselves or their loved ones.

In the press release for the event, Runaway’s former lead guitarist, Lita Ford, explained her very personal ties to cancer.

“I’ve watched my mother and my father both die from cancer,” she said. “So many people suffer every day from some form of this disease somewhere in their family chain. Really, why can’t we find a cure for cancer?”

The attention paid to breast cancer during its awareness month benefits not only breast cancer research but also research for other cancers as well.

“Bringing awareness to what the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center does in general helps them get more funding to not only cure breast cancer, but other types of cancer, such as prostate cancer,” Koops said.

Bergsman said the money raised in campaigns has  improved research and awareness.

“So many women are diagnosed and suffer from breast cancer,” Bergsman said. “In all these different campaigns, however, not only the money that has gone into research, but also the money that has gone into awareness, particularly in October, has proven to be very successful. Great progress has been made.”