Country concert raises $12,000 for organ donor clinic

living donor clinicFrom Left: Event organizers Marla Blackwell and Lee Adams; Jo Funk, LCSW-C, living donor clinic social worker; Debora Evans, David B. Leeser, MD, chief of kidney and pancreas transplantation, and Janice J. Eisele, senior vice president, UMMS Foundation.

By Caroline Killian

UMMS Foundation

The UMMS Foundation is proud to report that the Fifth Annual Living Donor Country Concert raised a record amount this year – just over $12,000 dollars!  This year’s concert took place on September 11  at the Harmony United Methodist Church in Falling Waters, W.Va., providing an intimate venue for guests to experience a “Night with Nashville.”

Attendees listened to acoustic performances from country stars James Wesley and Dustin Lynch, and were treated to a “meet and greet” with the artists after the show. The show also featured a silent auction with items signed by country superstars, including Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and Taylor Swift.

Dustin Lynch performed his hit single, “Cowboys and Angels”, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart. His self-titled debut album recently entered the Billboard Country Chart at No. 1, making Lynch the first new male artist to debut at that spot this year.

The concert was attended by several UMMC Transplant team members, including David B. Leeser, MD, chief of kidney and pancreas transplantation at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

 “It was an outstanding event in that it was about giving and donation, and they opened up the sanctuary,” Leeser said. “We had a bunch of young people in a church listening to music and learning about transplantation. It was an amazing event.”

Dr. Leeser recalled a powerful moment of the night: “One of the artists sang a song he had written late one night at a time when he was frustrated and he hadn’t broken through and become successful yet. He said ‘This is a song, a prayer I wrote, that I said I’d never sing unless I was in a church.’ So he sang it.”

The money raised from the concert will support UMMC’s Living Donor Follow-Up Clinic, which provides follow-up care for living organ donors who have generously given the gift of life.  After surgery, living donors have four follow-up visits within two years after donating a kidney.  In supporting the post-operative care for our living donors, the Living Donor Country Concert helps to ensure the Clinic’s ability to provide world-class, long-term care for our donors.

To learn more about the Country Concert and to donate to the Living Donor Clinic, please visit: http://www.ummsfoundation.org/concert.