Hope will sing through square

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Breast can­cer has af­fect- ed nu­mer­ous fam­i­lies in Newton County, but ev­ery­where you look — es­pe­cially down­town — there are signs of hope. And on Sun­day there will also be sounds of hope.

Lo­cal mu­si­cians Mack McKibben and The Drive Time Band, Madi­son Lunt and Drew Parker will per­form dur­ing the sec­ond an­nual Sounds of Hope con­cert from, 4–5:30 p.m., Sun­day on the square. The con­cert is free.

The con­cert kicks off Oc­to­ber’s Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Month events, along with the an­nual Portraits of Hope pro­gram, where photo portraits of can­cer sur­vivors are dis­played at down­town

Cov­ing­ton busi­nesses. This year there are more than 60 portraits, so they’ll be dis­played in stores ex­tend­ing be­yond the square, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal vol­un­teers.

The con­cert was added for the first time last year, be­cause McKibben, whose wife Deb­o­rah McKibben is a breast can­cer sur­vivor, vol­un­teered to put on a con­cert to raise money for the breast can­cer re­search.

“I think ev­ery­one has been af­fected some­how by this hor­ri­ble disease in one way or another,” McKibben said last year. “This is just a way to cheer on th­ese ladies and say ‘We love you, we ad­mire you and we re­ally want to sup­port you.’”

The 11-mem­ber Drive Time Band draws influences from its mem­bers’ back­grounds in jazz, blues, coun­try metal, pop and sym­phonic back­grounds, while Parker is a coun­try mu­sic singer and song­writer and Lunt is a singer.

Spon­sor­ships are avail- able, and for $250 a per­son or or­ga­ni­za­tion can re­serve eight chairs and a ta­ble for the con­cert; pro­ceeds ben­e­fit The Hope Bou­tique at Newton Med­i­cal Center. Call the hos­pi­tal’s vol­un­teer of­fice at 770-7886553.

Na­tional Breast Aware­ness Month is an an­nual in­ter­na­tional health cam­paign or­ga­nized by ma­jor breast can­cer char­i­ties ev­ery Oc­to­ber to in­crease aware­ness of the disease and to raise funds for re­search.

Newton Med­i­cal Aux­il­iary vol­un­teer Kay Goff said the aux­il­iary has been putting portraits out for about the past eight years. She said the event started with 12 portraits and has grown to 62 portraits this year.

“It’s a won­der­ful aware­ness tool,” Goff said, not­ing that a lot of peo­ple walk along the square and see the portraits. “They see and read the sto­ries, and say ‘I haven’t had a mam­mo­gram in five years,’ and call us for in­for­ma­tion. It works great.”

The portraits are taken by lo­cal pho­tog­ra­pher Kaye Plitt.

Gabriel Khouli/The Cov­ing­ton News

Newton Med­i­cal Center vol­un­teers Kay Goff and Stephanie Lunt, both for­mer can­cer sur­vivors, hold up pho­tos of lo­cal breast can­cer sur­vivors as part of the Portraits of Hope pro­gram, which places portraits of sur­vivors around down­town busi­nesses.

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