Concert during Market Days to benefit family battling cancer

Dec. 12, 2011 at 6:12 a.m.
Updated Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:13 a.m.

The sounds of harps, violins and "southern fried rock and blues" will fill DeLeon Plaza Saturday to raise money for a family battling cancer.

Angelic Strings - an Austin harpist and violinist couple - plays everything from Christmas music to Willie Nelson to the Beatles. They'll join rock and blues band Half Past Blue in the gazebo for a two-part concert during Market Days.

The live music is part of a few people trying to pay their good fortunes forward to benefit Grace Carr and her mother, Ruth Carr, who is fighting her second bout of cancer.

"They are a very awesome family that have just had some really, really hard knocks," the family's friend, Beckey Boyd Gooden said.

Gooden met mom and daughter when they came to take free helicopter rides at the Calhoun Air Center in March.

While waiting to take flight, Gooden struck up conversation and found out the mom was a cancer survivor hoping to encourage her plane-loving daughters' dreams to join the Air Force.

Grace returned to the air center for several events, and her church, Victory Christian Life Center, donated $75 to pay for her introductory flight.

"Any opportunity to fly, she's on it," Gooden said.

Calhoun Air Center eventually offered Grace a part-time job so she could build up money to start taking flying lessons.

But over the last few months, her mom's cancer has resurfaced, and the family has found themselves scrimping to travel to treatment in Galveston.

In June, Gooden and the Calhoun Air Center had jumped to help another girl with dreams of being a pilot. They took Reyna Martinez and her parents on a flight around the Crossroads months before Reyna would have to undergo spinal surgery.

Reyna's dad, Joel Rodriguez, had a few favors on deck to raise money for his daughter, but Reyna's is fortunately all well these days.

Rodriguez contacted Gooden, then, to tell her about his friends in Angelic Strings and Half Past Blue who had offered to do a benefit concert.

"God just told me do it for Grace," Gooden said.

The money raised from donations and a silent auction will help Grace's parents pay for medical and travel costs. Some of the funds will also go toward sending Grace to an Air Force camp - or keeping Grace's dream alive, as Gooden put it.

"She's got hope. She's got faith that God's putting her somewhere else," Gooden said.

Gooden and Rodriguez are looking for more silent auction items and baked goods.



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