If you like to sing in the shower, you'll want to take your soap-on-a-rope to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Kamikaze Karaoke on July 25 at McDonough's Restaurant & Lounge.
Kamakazi Karaoke means you can donate $5 to the cause and tell your buddy or significant other to sing a certain song. They can donate $5 to switch the tune to one of their favorites. If stage fright takes over, the person can donate $10 and not sing at all. Prizes will go to the Best Singer, Worst Singer and Crowd Favorite.
"I think I'm going to be in big trouble," said Jennie Brewster, campaign assistant for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Brewster has no interest in singing, but worked with Mandy Starling of the CW Network, the main media sponsor, and Brandy Mai, who is working toward her personal fundraising goal for the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in November.
The Leukemia Lymphoma Society's mission is to cure blood cancers but also to improve the lives of patients. Their First Connection program connects those just diagnosed with those who have been through treatment. They also have family support groups with medical professionals who can answer questions and help aid communication between family members. The cost of treatment is also a huge consideration for patients, and programs exist to help offset expenses. Cancer-related issues are varied, and LLS has even considered what it's like to be a child going back to school after treatment. Kids from pre-school to high school have benefited from the videos and materials they offer.
"There are four fundraising platforms locally," Brewster said. "And within each of those, there are participants, volunteers and candidates fundraising on an individual basis to meet a particular goal. Team in Training is one that started 25 years ago and has raised $1.3 billion to fight blood cancers. Other platforms include Light the Night, Leukemia Cup Regatta and Man and Woman of the Year."
IF YOU GO
What: Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Kamikaze Karaoke
Where: McDonough's, 21 E. McDonough St.
When: 7 to 11 p.m. July 25
Cost: $5 to assign a song to a friend; $5 to change the song you're assigned; $10 not to sing at all
Info: www.lls.org, innatmcdonoughs.com
Mai has run a total of five half-marathons. Her first was with Team In Training in 2011, and she was motivated by the loss of a 34-year-old friend to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2009.
"It was a really aggressive cancer. He was diagnosed and died within a year," Mai said. "I also have a cousin who fought cancer a few different times by the age of 5."
Will Brandy sing to support her cause?
"Absolutely not," she said, taking into account the ears of those present. But she reconsidered quickly.
"You know what: If the crowd gets behind me, and they want me to sing, and they are willing to ante up the dollars, I'm willing to match it to meet my own fundraising goal."
McDonough's has been a big supporter of community charities since its doors opened just before St. Patrick's Day in 1987, and according to owner Billy Lee, it's a terrific space for people looking to sing.
"We have a large room, a very good sound system and disc jockey," he said.
Lee has been known to belt out "My Way" and "New York, New York" as well as "It's a Wonderful World." The gutsy people who get on stage sometimes have more bravery than talent, but it's always good fun.
"I have some that you might want to throw a glass at, but you can't do that," he said with a laugh.