Waco fights cancer with music and golf

By Rolando Rodriguez, Reporter

The Testicular Cancer Foundation is hosting a weekend long event to promote awareness of testicular cancer and to raise funds. The inaugural WACKO Open Weekend will include the Curtis Grimes benefit concert at 8 p.m. on Sept. 18 in Wild West Waco and the open golf tournament will follow the next day at noon in the Lake Waco Golf Club.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among males ages 15-35. According to the United States Census Bureau, 48 percent of the population in Waco is male and 77 percent of those fall into the demographic that are at risk of testicular cancer.

“What we are trying to do is get our message out there by bringing Testicular Cancer Foundation to Waco that it is 99 percent curable if found in stage one,” said Debbie Dennis, Waco committee chairman for TCF. “And it takes just a simple monthly exam to actually find the cancer.”

If an individual is diagnosed with testicular cancer, TCF offers one-on-one support, prayer counseling and help through the chemotherapy process.

Country artist from NBC’s The Voice, Curtis Grimes, will kick off the weekend event in Wild West Waco. Ross Dennis, a Waco area survivor, will be speaking about his experiences during the concert.

“We wanted to have something that appeals to the masses and to get the message out to the people that are in our demographic,” Dennis said. “What better way to do it than with a Curtis Grimes concert?”

Grimes and Wild West Waco will be donating part of the proceeds to the Testicular Cancer Foundation.

The inaugural open golf tournament will be a four-person scramble with prizes for closest to the pin and the longest drive. They will also be hosting a silent auction and a dinner available to anyone to learn more about the organization.

“100 percent of our overhead is covered by angel donors,” development director of TCF, Jessica Karlsruher, said. “Proceeds at events such as these can go directly back to the mission, which is raising awareness and education of testicular cancer.”

This is the first time TCF will be hosting an event in Waco. Their plan is to continue these events along with several others to promote education and to raise funds in the Waco area.

“The golf tournament and the benefit concert will be just the beginning for the Testicular Cancer Foundation,” Karlsruher said. “We are also looking to do future events and coming up with all kinds of ways to have more of a presence in Waco.”

For more information on self examination, how to get support, pricing and registration for the upcoming events Dennis recommends visiting their website at tcancer.org.