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Entertainers’ support strengthens VICC melanoma research efforts

Apr. 12, 2018, 9:04 AM

On hand for the donation to support melanoma research were, from left, Stuart Dill, Dave Robbins, Holly Crandall, Henry Paul, Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, and Lori Stefanski. (photo by Kathy Ashworth)

Henry Paul and Dave Robbins, members of country music group BlackHawk, as well as southern rock band The Outlaws, recently donated $40,000 to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) in support of melanoma research. Since 2006, the band members have generated more than $100,000 for VICC.

Paul and Robbins presented the newest gift to Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, assistant professor of Medicine and clinical director of the Melanoma Research Program at VICC.

“We are so grateful to these outstanding and compassionate musicians for their generous support of our research program. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and these financial gifts help advance our research efforts for the benefit of patients,” Johnson said.

BlackHawk and The Outlaws host the “Freeborn Jam” each fall at Nashville City Winery and the musicians encourage charitable contributions during the event.

These efforts, along with corporate support from Agrilogic Insurance Services LLC and yearlong support from the Outlaws’ benevolent organization, the Four Horsemen Society, help generate the funds that are donated to VICC.

In addition to VICC, the entertainers also contribute to MusiCares, an organization that helps fund healthcare costs for uninsured musicians.

The impetus for the charitable gifts was the death of original BlackHawk member Van Stephenson, who died from melanoma.

“Honoring former founding BlackHawk member Van Stephenson and former founding Outlaws members Hughie Thomasson, Billy Jones and Frank O’Keefe by perpetuating their memory in the name of these two charities is our goal,” Paul said.

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