Sunday, December 17th, 2017

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Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital/Angie’s Institute “Rockin’ Summer Soiree”

The pulsating chords and rousing chorus usually rocked packed arenas. And yet, stripped down to an acoustic guitar accompaniment under a wind-rattled tent, legendary Roger Daltrey of “The Who” still had the Shoreby Club crowd of 300 on their feet with the opening words: “Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve played the silver ball…”

The choice of “Pinball Wizard” enhanced the focus of the Rockin’ Summer Soiree, a benefit to support Angie’s Institute at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and Who Cares Teen Cancer America, founded by Daltrey and bandmate Peter Townsend as an offshoot of their British charity. Yes, the organizations support research into the causes – and ultimately finding cures – for the adolescent and young adult cancers, often the rarest and most aggressive forms of the disease. But the groups also provide age-appropriate activities and entertainment, including electronic games for teens undergoing treatment.

Daltrey, who squeezed the Summer Soiree into a two-day tour break between Atlantic City and Grand Rapids, spent the afternoon visiting teen cancer patients at UH Angie’s Institute. “It was just incredible,” said Daltrey of the center, which includes a rooftop garden, computer games, and art and music therapy for young-adult patients. The center was established by Chuck and Char Fowler in honor of their daughter Angie, who died of melanoma at age 14. “That’s how it should look, that’s how it should feel. Chuck and Char, you have done Cleveland proud!”

During an on-stage conversation with Dan Moulthrop, president of City Club of Cleveland, the British rock legend explained why he and Townsend champion research and support for teens with cancer, particularly in the United States.

“America was so good to our career,” said The Who front man. “And this age group was – is – so good for our careers. It’s my way of saying thank you to the age group, the young adults. It’s my way of saying thank you.” The evening’s crowd joined in raising $300,000 toward easing the pain and finding a cure. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY PEGGY TURBETT

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