Commitment to a Breast Cancer Cure

pink_ribbon_gs.jpgThere are many reasons Pat Budnick got involved with the Susan G. Komen “Race For the Cure.” Her years as an oncology nurse, for one, and the friends she’s lost to breast cancer.

But her commitment, evidenced by her status as a “Pink” (over $1,000) donor to the charity, and her work spearheading this Saturday’s benefit concert on the grounds of her Chester motel, can be described quite simply.

She’s keeping it local.

When I found out that 75 percent of the money stays in Vermont,” she says, “I knew I’d found the right organization.”

The Komen group, says Budnick, “gives money to people that can go give somebody a ride, watch your kids, get supper for you the night you’re getting chemo – things you need right now, right this minute, the day you’re diagnosed. I thought this was a real cool use, so I’ve been doing the concert for five years.”

Budnick says she originally conceived “Music-In-The-Meadow” simply as a day of music. “I’m a child of the Sixties,” she says, “that’s the way we did things back then.” Over the years, however, the show has grown as more people signed on to help. In addition to five bands, there are crafts, a flea market, the New England Dukes Cars group – even a moonwalk for the kids.

John Taylor has been there from the start. “You do this and I’ll come up from New York and I’ll do it,” he told his old friend. This year Taylor, who works as an editor during the day, is bringing a trio to perform.

Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, a respected Americana duo, headline the show. “It’s got pizzazz,” says Pat Budnick. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m excited about it.”

Julie Waters, who leads the monthly song circle at the Bellows Falls RAMP gallery, plays a solo set, and the father/son team of Tom and Scott Hitchcock, dubbed “H2O,” also perform. The John Sullivan Band rounds out the talented lineup. The show runs from 1 till 9.

It started as a brainstorm, my friends wince when I say that,” she explains. Her ‘brainstorms’ can turn into tsunamis, and friends inevitably wind up pitching in. “They say, oh no, what does she need me to do now,” laughs Budnick.

Then, she turns serious. “Having been in the field, and seen the devastation breast cancer causes, it’s heartbreaking,” she says. “Because it’s a disease that affects Mom, or a woman, it affects the whole family. Everybody is not only affected by it, but consumed by it.”

I’ve been lucky, I’ve been spared,” she continues. “I’ve watched my friends who haven’t, and their families, their kids, their grandchildren, it’s a horrible thing, and we need a cure.”

We need it now,” she says firmly.

The 5th Annual Race For The Cure Benefit, “Music-In-The-Meadow,” features Rebecca Hall & Ken Anderson, Fire On The Mountain with John Taylor, Phil White & Mike Leuci, Jule Waters, H2O – Tom & Scott Hitchcock, and the John Sullivan Band, along with special guests. There will be food, crafts and a flea market. Saturday, 1-9 PM at the Motel-In-The-Meadow, Route 11 West, Chester. $5.00 suggested donation benefits the Susan G Komen Race For The Cure, Vermont/New Hampshire.