Concert to benefit CAB adviser

Emily Gries

Late last summer, Bennie Beach was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Glial Sarcoma.

Dozens of his friends will come together on Saturday to raise money to help Beach fight the disease.

“Total surprise,” were the first words out of Beach’s mouth about the concert.

“I was very touched to say the least,” he said. “I didn’t have a clue this was going to happen.”

Beach has worked at Western about 20 years. He is the student activities coordinator and the adviser to the Campus Activities Board.

The concert will start at 6 p.m. at Ellis Place on State Street to raise money for his medical bills. Tickets are $20.

Beach had to stop working in the early fall last semester. His cancer is a category four, or very aggressive cancer. He has had to undergo radiation and laser treatments.

“I will be coming back to work soon,” Beach said.

Friends are optimistic about Beach’s health.

“Bennie is doing really well right now and is in good spirits,” said Marthalu Nunn, a close friend.

Nunn said around 50 musicians will perform. Some are local musicians and some are flying in from all over, she said.

“They are coming together as a tribute to him,” Nunn said. “Bennie has played with a lot of these bands.”

Beach was the original drummer for The Flexibles in the 1970s, Nunn said.

There will be a food tent, with about 10 restaurants that have donated food, and a silent auction. So far, 15 packages from various businesses have been donated, Nunn said. There will also be T-shirts that have the names of all the bands on them available for $10.

“People have been calling in from around the state for tickets,” Nunn said.

Another friend, Kelly Thompson Jr., said they are going to print 1,000 tickets and hope to raise $50,000 for Beach’s medical bills.

In addition to ticket sales, donations will be accepted and Thompson has already received several.

Nunn said Modern Woodmen of America is sponsoring the event and is matching up to $2,500 in donations.

Beach gives credit to Nunn and Curtis Burch for organizing the event. Burch is a Grammy award-winning musician and will be playing on Saturday. Other bands scheduled to perform are Skip Bond and the Fugitives and Ernie Small.

Warren County Circuit Judge Steve Wilson is a member of Skip Bond and the Fugitives.

Wilson and band member Tommy Holderfield are lifelong friends of Beach.

“Tommy brought it to our attention that there was going to be a benefit,” Wilson said. “We all knew Bennie and we all wanted to be a part of it.”

Reach Emily Gries at [email protected]