Anna Ives, the adorable daughter of Goner Records co-owner Zac Ives and wife Amy, is a tough, energetic little girl. Just 4 years old, she has already endured two successful brain surgeries with grace and pluck.
Last week, Anna and her family (including 6-month-old brother Aron) decamped to Boston for a two-month stay in which Anna will receive special preventative treatment. To assist with the costs that come with relocation, missed work, and other expenses, Zac Ives' Goner partner Eric Friedl and other local friends have banded together to raise money via an online auction and benefit concert.
"We knew that they were going through so much," Friedl says. "We wanted to help how we could, to alleviate some of the financial stress."
The medical ordeal began in 2007 when Anna, then 2, was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor, which was removed at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, a surgery that received high-profile coverage in The Commercial Appeal as part of a series on Le Bonheur's brain surgeons and that landed Anna in Washington as surely one of the most charming lobbyists the capital has ever seen.
Unfortunately, last October, tests found the tumor returning — smaller this time, but malignant — necessitating a second, also successful, surgery at Le Bonheur. Following the surgery, Anna was referred to the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for radiation treatment aimed at reducing the risk of the tumor returning.
According to Friedl, the Ives family is settling in well and prepping for treatment, which will begin in early February. Meanwhile, friends are banding together back home to help them out.
The online auction, accessible at Goner-Records.com/Anna, is something of a free-for-all, with Goner Records operating as a middle man — collecting checks and alerting donors as to when and where to send their auction items.
"It depends a little bit on trust," Friedl says, "but I think everyone wants to see this go well."
The items include music-related items, event tickets, gift certificates, original artwork from local artists, and other services.
"A lot of people don't have money, but they do have things, so this is a way they can contribute if they want to," Friedl says. The online auction, which started January 26th, will run through February 2nd.
The benefit concert, set for Thursday, January 29th, at the Hi-Tone Café, emerged from a desire to find different ways to help.
"John Paul Keith was saying, 'Hey I don't have a lot to donate right now, but if there's a benefit ...,'" Friedl says about the origin of the show, which will pair roots-rocker Keith and his band The One Four Fives with Goner-connected artists Harlan T. Bobo and Jack O & the Tearjerkers.
"We put it together quickly," Friedl says, "but it's also in the middle of the auction, so it can steer people that way."
The benefit will be novel for local club shows in that it will start early (doors open at 7 p.m., with music set to start at 8 p.m.), and bands will rotate mini-sets throughout the night. The idea is that fans interested in seeing a particular act won't have to wait long to see them.
"This is my idea, and if it falls apart, it's my fault," Friedl says of the show's format.
Admission to the show is $10, with all proceeds going to assist the Ives family. Full information on the auction and benefit concert, as well as a way to donate money directly, can be found at Goner-Records.com/Anna.