Be The Match to sponsor cancer, sickle cell benefit gospel concert

Gospel choirs, soloists, male choruses, praise dancers and groups from Jefferson County and surrounding counties will unite on June 29 in a benefit gospel concert in honor and memory of cancer and sickle cell patients and survivors.

Sponsored by Be The Match Foundation, the first benefit/fundraiser will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Greater Fellowship Ministries, 2401 S. Main St. Featured guests will include the Spiritual Wings of Joy, Barnes Sisters, Eternal Light Singers of Marianna, The Seloy Singers of Earle, Kendrick Williams Jr., Worshipping Warriors Praise Dancers and Gloryland Pastor’s Choir.

A moment of silence will be observed during the program to honor local patients and survivors. Quinshuanita Thomas, a local patient, will be presented the “Be The Match — Hero” award.

Be The Match is a movement that engages a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor. At 10 million strong, the Be The Match Registry is the world’s largest and most diverse listing of potential marrow donors in the world.

Mary LeSuer with Be The Match Registry said there are a number of local and area residents that are in need of a bone marrow transplant from a non-family member.

“Though millions have joined the Be The Match Registry and stand ready to become marrow donors, there are still many patients who cannot find a match,” she said.

According to Be The Match, every year more than 10,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia. Their best or only hope for a cure is a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. About 70 percent of patients in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family, so they turn to and depend on Be The Match to find a livesaving donor.

Tickets for the event are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children ages 5 and under will be admitted free. Advance tickets are available at Pop’s Beauty & Barber Shop, 301 S. Main; Fathers & Sons Clothier in Jefferson Square; and by contacting Sharon Shelton at 501-944-0369. To purchase tickets online visit

Proceeds from this event will be used locally to add more potential donors to the Be The Match Registry, increasing the chances of more patients finding a lifesaving match.

For more information, contact Dee Clay at 870-534-3537 or LeSueur at 662-403-0091.