Unless it’s Beyonce holding a press conference and scooping up free ice cream at Rosemary’s Family Creamery, it's rare to get your local television, radio and print together in one place on a Saturday night.
But for one beautiful night, Kern County’s media do come together and draw their communal line in the sand, standing shoulder to shoulder to raise money to help Kern County families on their cancer journey.
This year’s Media Music Jam at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace will have a record number of media and community leaders, 26 total, lending their names and musical talents. Backed by the band Thee Majestics, performers will sing songs they have been rehearsing for at least three months. Proceeds from MMJ benefit the Kern County Cancer Fund.
As the Producer for MMJ and the bass player for Thee Majestics, I can easily forecast an evening filled with a variety of music, fun entertainment with all performers ready to please their legions of fans. Everyone has been rehearsing for almost three months. “We are serious about having fun!” has been the mantra for all performers.
Planning for this year’s MMJ began one year ago; the event is produced by my family. My daughters, sons, son-in-law, grandson, nephews, nieces, cousins and family of the heart have been helping all year and will be selling tickets to several raffle items and prizes at MMJ.
Many of the performers at this year’s MMJ, will surprise and hopefully impress with their talent and willingness to try their best in front of a traditionally sold-out Crystal Palace house. The performers do so, regardless of their own ego and in the name of helping people in need. They all agree no one should have to choose between paying their rent and having chemo.
“The sole source of funding for our nonprofit is through donations and fundraising events like the Media Music Jam,” said Michelle Avila, KCCF director. “We are dedicated to financially assisting Kern County residents in need of screening, diagnosis and cancer-related treatment.”
The media personalities perform to financially assist Kern County families but to also recognize those who have survived and honor those lost to cancer.
Almost to the person, each one of the performers has had cancer affect their families, loved ones or themselves. A performer will pull me aside during rehearsal and privately reveal their cancer stories about their dad, mom, siblings, relatives or friends. They explain how MMJ is personal to them.
Who are these fearless, egoless and soon to be rock-stars?
They are your favorite news personalities, community leaders, reporters, columnists, and favorite deejays: Amy Adams from Amy Adams Voice Studio, Angela Barton from the Barton Marketing Group, Herb Benham from The Californian, Adam Bowles, Leah Freeman, Mike Hart, Leah Pezzetti and Elaina Rusk from KERO TV 23, Erin Briscoe, Tracy Peoples and Aaron Perlman from KBAK CBS/Fox 58, Alissa Carlson, Jason Galvin, Maddie Janssen and Jim Scott from KGET TV 17, Casey McBride and Kenn McCloud from KUZZ AM/FM, Tony Lee from Alpha Media, Rick Davis, retired county media specialist, Rick Kreiser from Guitar Masters, Robert Rodriguez from the California Highway Patrol and Kern County’s favorite retired meteorologist, Rusty Shoop. Also included in this year’s MMJ are community leaders Harvey Hall from Hall Ambulance Services and Monsignor Craig Harrison from St Francis Church. Scheduled to co-emcee MMJ are Robin Mangarin-Scott from Dignity Health and media specialist Lisa Kimble.
Limited tickets are available and can be purchased at the Crystal Palace or Valitix.com.