The Bands Battle Against Cancer

The Gathering Place stages local events as part of its to work to help people with the disease.

True, GatherPalooza: The Sequel is a “Battle of the Bands.” Four Northeast Ohio bands will strut their stuff on stage Saturday, April 22, at Grays Armory in Cleveland for bragging rights.

But it is also a battle against cancer. The bands and event-goers are rocking out in support of The Gathering Place, which has locations in Beachwood and Westlake. The nonprofit organization provides art and music therapy, medical information, nutrition and exercise classes, book discussions, journaling, emotional support and more free of charge to those with cancer, their families and friends.

“We did the first Battle of the Bands in October 2015. We knew as soon as it was over that we would do it again. Our goal for 2017 is to raise $100,000,” says Beth Darmstadter, the organization’s chief development officer, noting that its annual budget is $2.3 million.  

This year’s bands include Witness Protection, The Retractors and Faith & Whiskey. Band members are professionals by day (including lawyers and judges), enthusiastic musicians by night. Richard Wesorick, a partner with the law firm Tarolli, Sundheim, Covell & Tummino, is a vocalist and percussionist with Faith & Whiskey. He and Elk & Elk partner Marilena DiSilvio serve as this year’s co-chairs of GatherPalooza: The Sequel.

“As a band we are honored to be part of this event. We aren’t starving artists, and we play out for the fun, not the money. While making money is OK, giving back and raising funds is way better,” says Wesorick. “You can be 70 years old or 25 and have a really good time at GatherPalooza. We all go to fundraisers for some really fantastic nonprofits in this area, but some of those dinners get to be rather routine. GatherPalooza is memorable.” 

GatherPalooza is anything but routine. Darmstadter says one of the things she enjoys is “seeing grown people play games like Musical Chairs for prizes.”

Jamie Belkin Events is planning the evening. Food stations will provide “exceptional choices, enough for dinner and dessert,” according to Darmstadter. Ticket prices are $175 for confirmed seating and open bar; $100 for standing room and two drink tickets. For more information about the event or sponsorships, visit, call 216-455-1505 or contact  

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