Exciting, fun times and superb entertainment await those attending Saturday night's "Rock The Block 2005" event in downtown Cherokee, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The brainchild of co-organizers Carrie Lux and Lisa Vandelune of Cherokee, the hog roast and dance on Cherokee's North 4th Street will feature the rockin' sounds of "Ten-Sixteen," a classic rock, rhythm and blues band from Sioux City.
A meal prepared by the Cherokee County Pork Producers, beer garden and concession stand also will accompany the event, with the hog roast from 5:30-7:30 p.m., followed by the street dance until 11 p.m. The hog roast meal also will include beans, chips and ice cream. The beer garden and concessions also will open throughout.
Lux and Vandelune are co-chairing this first annual "Rock The Block" because they are deeply involved in helping the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation raise funds for research. Both have had their lives touched by the disease, with Lux's 3-year-old daughter, Christa, a CF victim, and Vandelune's close college friend also a CF victim.
"Our hopes are that this street dance is a big hit so we can have one each year to raise money for CF research," explained Lux. "It'll all be good, family fun and we invite everyone to come out and suppport the Cycstic Fibrosis Foundation."
The Cherokee event is part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Annual Community Fund Drive. Despite significant breakthroughs, CF today remains the number one killer of children and young adults in the United States.
While the many hospitalizations, countless hours of pain therapy, and expensive medications are daily reminders of the disease, there is nothing that compares to the nagging fear that, unless a cure is found, CF may take its victims at a very young age. One young person loses their life-long battle to CF every day of the year in the United States.
The CFF has now launched the most ambitious medical research program in its history to race to find a cure for the fatal disease. It has more than doubled its support for state-of-the-art drug discovery research.
According to the CFF, established in 1955, more than 30,000 American children and young adults are afflicted with the disease.
CF is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus, due to the faulty transport of sodium and chloride (salt) within cell lining organs such as the lungs and pancreas, to their outer surfaces. This abnormal mucus clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.
CF occurs in approximately one of every 3,200 live Caucasian births (in one of every 3,900 live births of all Americans). There are about 1,000 new cases of CF diagnosed each year. Most individuals are diagnosed by age 3, and nearly 8-percent of all newly diagnosed cases are age 18 or older.
One in 31 Americans (one in 28 Caucasians), equaling more than 10 million people, is an unknowing, symptomless carrier of the defective gene.
An individual must inherit a defective copy of the CF gene - one from each parent - to have cystic fibrosis. There is a 25-percent chance that the child will have CF, a 50-percent chance that the child will be a carrier, and a 25-percent chance that the child will be a non-carrier.
"Our lives have been deeply impacted by the disease and we are determined to do all we can to find a cure for CF," added Lux, the former Carrie Grauer of Marcus, who is married to husband Kevin. Besides 3-year-old Christa, they have a 6-year-old son Devin who shows no signs of the disease.
Almost 92-percent of all funds raised for CF research goes directly to research, care and medical programs, making the CFF one of the nation's most efficient voluntary organizations of its kind.
"We hope to see a packed house at the street dance!" concluded Lux. "We want to find a cure for CF so Christa can grow to lead a normal life. She is such a great little girl. We just want to see her happy and healthy. God bless all of you who care."
North 4th Street is in the heart of the Historical Cultural and Entertainment District in beautiful downtown Cherokee.