Cancer Can’t Kill Love Benefit Concert raises over $10,000 for cancer research

The spirit was alive and so was the memory of Joanne and John “Butch” McGoldrick as hundreds of people turned out to raise a glass (and some money) for cancer research at the Third Annual Cancer Can’t Kill Love Benefit Concert on Saturday, August 29.

With all of this year’s proceeds going to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Home Reporter’s own Meaghan McGoldrick—whose mother, Joanne, lost a brief battle with Leukemia in 2013 and whose father, Butch, succumbed to Mesothelioma in 2008—was ecstatic with the turnout and the close to $13,000 raised for cancer research this year.

“It’s all very overwhelming and surreal,” said McGoldrick, who, with her two previous benefit concerts, raised close to $8,000 for cancer research. “The whole thing is definitely bittersweet but to see so many people from all walks of life come and honor not only the memory of my parents, but everybody that they know personally, that has been affected by cancer is incredible.

“I still can’t believe we raised that much money,” McGoldrick gushed, “but that’s just a testament to the team that I have behind me. This year’s benefit was a group effort and would not have been so successful without the people that I’m lucky enough to have in my life.”

Held at The Leif Bar—a Ridge watering hole that McGoldrick’s parents used to frequent—for the second year in a row, attendees got a taste of some local eats, local bands, and a handful of donated prizes and raffles.

Photo courtesy of Meaghan McGoldrick
Photo courtesy of Meaghan McGoldrick

“One of my earliest memories of life is meeting Meaghan and Joanne on my first day of kindergarten, so Cancer Can’t Kill Love is clearly very dear to my heart,” said one of McGoldrick’s best friends, Eileen Fitzpatrick, who baked over 200 cupcakes for the benefit. “It’s been amazing to see the strength and love Meaghan has displayed in putting this event together for three years now. She has taken a big scary thing like cancer and reached out to younger people in a way they recognize, in a way that makes you want to get more involved in helping find a cure. It’s a really wonderful day about everyone coming together with love in their hearts.”

“I think it’s important to look back at [the benefit’s] humble beginnings and to note just how much it has grown in two years,” added Michael Williams, McGoldrick’s best friend/roommate whose band, royGbiv, played its first ever live show at Cancer Can’t Kill Love’s inaugural benefit. “Meag and our friends put months of thought and effort into the event, and the results are obvious.”

This year’s lineup included Tim and Tom, Stoop Kids, royGbiv, August on Sunday, and Charlie Fishercat. Additionally, Steven James, of The Hive Mind Radio Network and The Steven James Experience, broadcasted the entire evening over the airwaves and YouTube livestream. James remained on the air, alongside August on Sunday frontman Danny Axel, for an additional 60 hours after the benefit, helping to rake in even more donations.

“By 8:30 we had surpassed $11,000 in donations and all I could do was cry. I think my whole team cried,” said McGoldrick. “This year was phenomenal. From the sponsorships, physical and monetary donations, to the bands that dedicated their time and talent, it was just an all-around success.”

Cancer Can’t Kill Love’s sponsors for the evening were The Leif, Red White and Brew, Bikram Yoga Bay Ridge, Skinflints, Cait McCarthy Photography, Megan Padovano Design, Hey! Dollface, Sabrina DiLeo, Steven James of the Hive Mind Radio Network and The Steven James Experience, Victory Cantina, Windy City Ale House, M&M Deli, Buttermilk Bakeshop, Alicia Degener, Grotto Italian Table and The Home Reporter.

For more on McGoldrick’s story, or to donate, visit

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