Freezin’ for a Reason to support local families battling cancer

After a forecasted rainy week in Central Illinois, temperatures are expected to drop to near freezing with partly cloudy skies on Nov. 23. But temperatures inside the Fluid Event Center are expected to be warm during the second annual Freezin’ For a Reason benefit.

Freezin’ For a Reason began on Dec. 1 when local bands came together to support Feudin’ Hillbilly’s drummer Derrick Roy and his wife, Heather, as they spent time at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital alongside their two-year-old daughter ,Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born four months prematurely, and spent her entire life in and out of hospitals.

Ten bands performed to nearly 1,500 people at the Lincoln Square Mall last year. All the proceeds went to the Roy family. Elizabeth passed away last January.

Derrick wanted to continue Freezin’ for a Reason in her memory. Roy said each week he receives two to three phone calls requesting the Feudin’ Hillbilly’s to play at a benefit. Within one week, was introduced to three Central Illinois families whose children are battling cancer.

Instead of separating each benefit concert out, Roy decided to develop an annual indoor festival, which will continually support local families.

This year proceeds from Freezin’ for a Reason will go to support Mahomet residents Melinda and sixteen-year-old Hailey Emmerd, three-year-old St. Joseph resident Brody and Monticello resident Lily.

Shortly after giving birth to a premature baby, Melinda was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. After years of surgeries, Melinda found out her cancer has resurfaced on the same day her daughter, Hailey began her own tumor battle.

Brody was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when he was two-years-old. Over the next three-and-a-half years, Brody will receive chemo treatments.

Lily was also diagnosed with ALL this summer. Due to complications with her treatments, Lily will spend the majority of the next three years away from her four siblings while she receives chemotherapy treatments.

Roy has connections with all three families.

The newly renovated Fluid Event Center located at 601 N Country Fair Dr. will host six bands which will play staggered sets between two rooms. Rod Sickler’s Radio 6 Band kicks off the night at 4 p.m. They will be followed by The Brat Pack, Triple Play, Tons O’ Fun Band and Chris Cavanaugh. Ryan Ideus & The Feudin’ Hillbillys will end the night with their set from 10:30 p.m. to midnight.

Roy has invited area businesses and organizations which have supported Freezin’ for a Reason to set up in the back room for an expo-style event. Presenting sponsor Lanz Heating and Cooling will ask guests if they are brave enough to participate in the Mr. and Mrs. Cool Competition at 9 p.m.

Jon Jansky will produce a speed painting to be auctioned off at the event. Stacy Jones will provide haircuts with the option to donate to Locks of Love.

Kids will get their first peek at Santa Clause as Brandon Carswell Photography will offer pictures with Santa Clause. Face painting and balloons will also be available for kids.

Willow Pond Golf Course in Rantoul has partnered with Friends for Life to offer Putt-Putt with a PGA pro. Friends for Life will also have a photo booth at the event.

The Mahomet-Seymour Varsity Boys’ Basketball team will also be there with a free throw contest.

Fat Stack BBQ and Dish Catering will provide during Freezin’ for a Reason. There will also be a 50/50 drawing and a silent auction.

Tickets are available in advance for $10 through, Lanz Heating and Cooling or at First State Bank on the corner of Windsor and Neil St. in Champaign. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $15. Rod Sickler has committed to reimbursing guests for their ticket expense by handing out gift cards to the Rod Sickler Salon and Spa at the door.

A tax deductible donation to the event can also be made out to Freezin’ for a Reason at First State Bank.

Roy plans to make Freezin’ for a Reason even bigger next year. He has talked to several Nashville artists who are interested in playing at the event. He also plans to include a 5K race to make it an all-day event.

Central Illinois residents can also help raise money for the three families when they bring a voucher to Chili’s for either Dine In or To Go services. Ten percent of the purchases with the voucher between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 will go to Freezin’ for a Reason.

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