From staff reports
The Friends of Logan, a group that includes church members, community groups and students, has gotten together in an effort to raise funds to support the family of Logan Harper, a 9-year-old from Danese who is battling Stage 3A Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Harper, who currently is undergoing aggressive che-motherapy at WVU’s Ruby Memorial, is scheduled for autogolous stem cell transplant at the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital as soon as he is in remission.
The group came up with the idea of a benefit concert by Nashville recording artists Taylor Made, a regional favorite. Fayette County teacher Samantha Gerwig got in touch with Libby Lucas, a longtime friend of the group, to ask for her assistance as well as that of her sister, Lynn. Taylor Made, which is comprised of siblings Brian and Greg Duckworth and Wendy Duckworth Williams, was on board from the moment they were asked, calling it “an honor.”
Hunter Krise, a co-worker of Lynn Lucas, suggested the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building in Fayetteville. County commissioners Matt Wender, Denise Scalph and John Lopez agreed the site would be perfect and thus, the Taylor Made Logan’s Journey to Kickin’ Cancer benefit concert for Logan Harper was born.
The outpouring of help and support for the benefit has event co-coordinator Libby Lucas in tears. She said she has known the family for years and it warms her heart to see not only the small community of Ansted rallying behind the boy, but also those from around the county and state.
The opening act for the Oct. 27 show that kicks off at 3 p.m. will be Robert “Rob” Legg. Known as “The Singing Deputy” to many, Legg began singing and his ministry 15 years ago. The 10-year veteran of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, where he serves as a corporal, and U.S. Army veteran, released his first CD, “Get Up,” last fall.
The gospel singer and his wife, Delisa, have three daughters and attend the Lighthouse Worship Center. The deputy said he considers it an honor and privilege to be a part of such a wonderful event for such an awesome little boy.
The next act will be Ansted native Matt Brewster, who also has served as Logan’s Bible school teacher. The Matt Brewster Band is energetic and performs a crowd-captivating stage show, which, combined with his unique voice, will show those in attendance why he is becoming well known on the county fairs and festival circuit. The up-and-coming country music artist is currently in the process of recording his first album.
Personally knowing Logan, organizers say Brewster hasn’t stopped at just being one of the performers. He has helped in many other ways, including designing the posters, sound system and publicity.
After Brewster’s performance, WTNJ dee-jay Big Ugly, the event’s emcee, and Libby Lucas will announce winners of the silent auction, in which those in attendance can participate.
Following the silent auction, Nashville recording artists and fellow West Virginians Taylor Made will take the stage. The Taylor County natives have just released their fifth single with Little General Records and the first single after partnering with Tenacity Music Group Productions.
“Cancer is not age prejudiced,” said Wendy Duckworth Williams. “It’s even worse when it happens to a child. We are parents and can’t even imagine the amount of support we would need in a time like this. We want to help, if only a small token.”
Greg Duckworth, who, in addition to his music career, is a sergeant in the West Virginia State Police, hopes residents from all around the region attend the concert in support of Logan.
“We are very humbled to have been asked to do this,” he said. “This concert isn’t about Taylor Made. It is all about Logan, a child with a smile that can not only light up a room, but the hearts of all who come in contact with him. It is our family’s sincere hope that everyone comes out to the concert and packs the venue to help Logan on his journey to kick cancer.”
Performing to aid Logan hits home with Taylor Made’s Brian Duckworth. He said he has a son the same age as Logan and can’t imagine what Logan or his parents, Mike and Sally Harper, are going through.
“I know that I can speak on behalf of not only my siblings but our wonderful band members in saying that we look forward to spending the afternoon with Logan’s supporters and say thank you for including us.”
Admission to the concert is by donation. A concession stand will be provided, as well as the silent auction, which features items donated by athletes and entertainment personalities. All proceeds from the Friends of Logan event will go directly to the family. The official sponsor of the event is the Ansted Lions Club.