BY Bera Dunau Staff Writer
---- — Karaoke is going to be about more than just singing this weekend.
The second annual “Karaoke Against Cancer” event at Brewery Ommegang on Saturday, Feb. 22, is being held to raise money to help two local cancer patients as well as The Bob Simon/Loretta Anagnost Patient Assistance Fund at Bassett Medical Center.
“It’s a fun thing to do on a Saturday night in upstate New York when the weather is always a little iffy,” said Allison Capozza, publicity manager for Brewery Ommegang.
One of the organizers of the event this year is Ommegang employee Amy Mulligan. Last year, the first “Karaoke Against Cancer” event was organized in honor of Mulligan, after she was diagnosed with advanced stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while pregnant with twins. After undergoing chemotherapy in the second half of her pregnancy, she gave birth to two boys. She now has a clean bill of health and is working at the brewery part-time as of last month. Mulligan also says that she is eager to give back.
“To be able to give back and help people … is just amazing,” said Mulligan, who has involved herself in cancer related volunteer work. “That makes it all worth it to have gone through last year.”
On “Karaoke Against Cancer,” Mulligan praised the effort for its local focus.
“It’s a local event, supported by local community, for local community members going through cancer treatment,” said Mulligan.
“Amy couldn’t volunteer fast enough,” said Capozza. “She tells me every day that still feels a positive impact.”
Mulligan and Capozza said that the two women selected to benefit from the fundraiser this year are both young mothers.
“They’re both just really nice women and they’re so grateful for the opportunity,” said Mulligan.
As for how the money raised helps those individuals who receive it, Capozza said that it is used for everything from paying for gas to go to treatments to paying for household and medical bills.
“It was a little bit of weight off my shoulders,” said Mulligan, speaking of how the money helped her, noting that she was unable to work while getting treatment
The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. and is for those 21 and older. Admission is $10 and will be collected at the door and one Ommegang ale is included in the cost. Ommegang employees will be singing Karaoke, and guests are also welcome to demonstrate their talents on the mic.
“Last year it was just so much fun,” said Mulligan. “A lot of people were really good at the Karaoke.”
All Ommegang Beer at the event will be $5 a glass, and light fare will be available for purchase.
There will also be a silent auction, with both Ommegang and non-Ommegang related items. Some of these items include Brewery Ommegang’s old sign, autographed by the brewmaster, a growler with a year’s worth of growler fills, a gift certificate to Alex & Ika Restaurant, Jewelry from Karen Katz Studio, and statues from HBO inspired by its television series “Game Of Thrones.” All auction items were donated.
“There is literally something for everybody,” said Mulligan
Mulligan said that she foresees “Karaoke Against Cancer” becoming an annual event, something that she says was apparent last year.
“Everyone was like, wow, this is such a great event,” said Mulligan. “I think it’s just going to get better and better as we go.”
Those who would like to learn more, or who want to donate an item to the silent auction can contact John Tuchowski, at 607-544-1800, ext. 813.