Concert to Benefit Individuals with Kidney Disease

CUMBERLAND — A concert to benefit those struggling with renal disease has been set for March 31 at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club.

The Concert to Fight Kidney Disease has several sponsors, including the
National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware.

Proceeds raised from the event will support kidney research, with a portion remaining in Allegany County to support patients with kidney disease through the
NKF of Maryland’s Pateint Emergency Assistance Fund.


Pattie Dash, vice president of Mission Advancement for NKF Maryland, said the fund ensures that patients receive financial assistance with expenses such as transportation for dialysis visits, support for medical and dental expenses, food and utility bills. The fund also supports those on the verge of being evicted from their home.

“It will be a great evening and for a good cause,” said Dash. “It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of this disease. I’m looking forward to it.”

Nearly 20 area musicians will perform at the event, including Kevin Lloyd, Craig Knippenberg, Arnie Helmick, Pat Sullivan and T.J. Jenkins of The Channel Cats, Harley Kuhn, Tim “Tug” McGraw, Greg Larry and Gary Price of Night Traveler, Ally Norris, Chris Talley and Adam Swayne.

Dash said kidney disease is the ninth leading caue of death in the U.S., killing more people every year than breast or prostate cancer.

“Roughly 26 million Americans (one in nine) live with chronic kidney disease and most don’t know it,” she said. “We’d like to reduce these numbers by spreading the word that early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.”

March is national kidney awareness month. In addition to Dash, speakers at the event will include George Franklin of Cumberland. Franklin, 62, received a kidney transplant 41 years ago. He is the longest living kidney transplant recipient in Maryland and second longest living African American recipient in the country.

“I’m excited about the concert,” Franklin said. “It’s important that we keep kidney health in the forefront. Kidney disease is rampant in the U.S. High blood pressure and diabetes both contribute to the increasing number of Americans that have kidney disease.”

The event will be held in the Ali Ghan banquet room with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Food will be available by order through the Ali Ghan kitchen.

Vicki Silverfeather is a member of the committee organizing the event. The group held its first kidney benefit in 2014 with a Beatles tribute. The event in March will be classic rock-themed with a focus on music of the 1970s. Period attire is suggested but not mandatory.

“We had a fundraiser in 2014 and it went very well,” said Silverfeather. “The turnout was terrific. We wanted to keep it going.”

The March event will include musical acts sharing the stage and performing several songs each in multiple collaborations. Musicians include electric and acoustic guitarists, vocalists, bass guitarists, keyboardists and percussionists.

“With so many great musicians giving of their time, it will be a special evening,” said Silverfeather. “This disease impacts so many lives and we want to support those who are affected and increase awareness.”

Tickets may be obtained online at or at the door. The admission cost is a tax-deductible donation.

The banquet room has a dance floor, individuals are encouraged to dance!

“My hope is that everyone will come out and have a good time and support this effort to bring awareness of kidney disease,” said Franklin.

In addition to NKF, sponsors include Chick-fil-A, Knippenberg Insurance Agency and the Foundation for Cultural Promotion.

For more information on the concert, call 301-722-8354.