Tribute artists team up to support cancer center

Date: 10/23/2014

CHICOPEE – For months the musicians of The Diamond Collection have been rehearsing song sets for the Icons of the Ages fundraiser to benefit Mercy Medical Center’s Sister Caritas Cancer Care Center in Springfield.

 “Family and friends over the years have battled cancer and especially breast cancer, so we decided this fall to raise funds for Mercy,” said Kenny LaBelle during a recent afternoon interview with Reminder Publications at the cancer center. LaBelle is best known in the region as the lead singer of The Diamond Collection, which performs the legendary hits of singer-songwriter Neil Diamond.

Throughout the years, the band has conducted shows that have benefited local organizations including the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation and the American Red Cross.

“We spoke to many friends and family members and they spoke highly of Mercy’s medical care and wonderful staff,” added Trish LaBelle, who is coordinating the logistics for the event.

Kenny LaBelle has arranged an all-star tribute show including Steve Kareta performing songs of Jimmy Buffett, Donna Lee De-Prille as Janis Joplin, Greg Ransom as Elton John, Rick Larrimore as Rod Stewart, Patrick Tobin as Frank Sinatra, and Ben Ashley as Buddy Holly. LaBelle and The Diamond Collection will also perform a Neil Diamond set.

Singer Jimmy Mazz will host the affair, which is slated Nov. 8 at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m. The sit-down menu features entrees of scrod, chicken, and sirloin of beef. Show time is at 8 p.m.

Admission is $60 and includes dinner and reserved seating. The deadline to purchase tickets is Nov. 4.

For the past few weeks each performer has visited the LaBelles at their home to rehearse the songs planned for each set.

“We have a music room which allows us to be focused,” said Kenny Labelle, adding, “we are all detail oriented so the event will be a powerful show.”

Trish LaBelle echoed those sentiments.

 “The show is planned for two and a half hours non-stop so expect an amazing show,” she said.

The LaBelles encourage area residents to support the event because it is for a “great cause.”

Highlights of the evening also include a 50/50 raffle and a large check presentation at the end of the evening.

“Our goal is to raise $10,000,” said Trish LaBelle, noting this fundraiser is the “biggest” they have undertaken over the years.

Sponsors of the event at press time include Brookside Automotive, Mix 93.1, The Gaudreau Group, Crestview Country Club, Mercy Medical Center Sister Caritas Cancer Care Center, and The Republican/MassLive.
    For more information or to purchase tickets, call 977-3019 or visit www.diamondcollectionrocks.com.