The members of Grammy-winning hometown heroes Korn will be preparing to head overseas for the European leg of their current concert tour when the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation holds a wine and food event in Bakersfield June 1.
But they will be there in spirit and, better yet, a piece of history that has huge significance to any Korn fan will go home with the highest bidder: the guitar played by Brian Welch at the recent concert marking his return to the band after an absence of eight years.
"And all four of the original band members -- my brother, Brian, Reggie (Arvizu) and James (Shaffer) -- signed it," said Alyssa Davis, who has a small role in planning the event for a very compelling reason:
Zeppelin Davis, her 6-year-old nephew, who has Type 1 diabetes. Zeppelin is the son of Korn frontman Jonathan Davis and his wife, Deven, whose lives changed instantly upon learning of the diagnosis, said Alyssa Davis.
"They're really trying to raise money to help find a cure for these kids, who are being diagnosed so young," she said. "It's a life changer. I had no idea that for a child going through it, what it entails. You change everything."
Beyond the dietary changes and other lifestyle accommodations, their son's struggle has prompted the Davises to become deeply involved in raising funds for research, as they're doing with the 2013 Summer Wine Fest on June 1.
The evening promises to be a delight for food and wine lovers, with hors d'oeuvres and desserts served by Luigi's Restaurant, the Padre, J&M Cafe, Dewar's, Chef's Choice Noodle Bar, Borda Petite Catering, Mexicali, The Mark, Cafe Med, Sweet Surrender, Lassen's and new-to-Bakersfield restaurant Wiki's Wine Dive & Grill.
Participating vineyards and breweries include Marchesi Antinori, Constellation Brands, the Estates Group, Epic Wines, Mastro Scheidt Family Cellars, Stella Artois Beer and more.
Entertainment will be provided by Grammy-winning R&B performer Tony Rich, whose biggest hit is the 1996 single "Nobody Knows." Also performing will be Bakersfield-based band Mystic Red.
In addition to the signed Korn guitar, interesting auction items include lunch with U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy in Washington, D.C., and a "wild pig hunt" donated by Tejon Ranch. All proceeds will be donated to research for a cure for Type 1 diabetes and for local support groups that help children and teens.
Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door. Space is limited at the event, which runs from 6 to 11 p.m. at Fleur De Lis, 424 24th St. For information or to buy tickets, call 636-1305 or visit jdrfla.org.