Phelps Family Hosts Wonderful Tribute Evening
|Chandler and Cade Phelps|
|A family photo of Chandler, Dane, and Cade|
Suzanne and Eric Phelps of San Jose, California have long been staunch advocates for FIRST. Many of our members know the story of their precious son Dane, who passed away in 2008 when he was just 3 ½ years old. Dane was affected with an unknown type of ichthyosis and additional medical issues. Dane was a very special little boy and touched so many people in his short time. Over the years, Dane's older siblings, Chandler and Cade, have organized lemonade stands and garage sales to benefit FIRST. The entire family also continue to attend FIRST’s national family conferences to connect with others and offer their love and support.
Eric and Suzanne wanted to do more to further ichthyosis research and create awareness. They held the first annual Dane's Friends for FIRST concert on September 1 at the Campbell Heritage Theater in Campbell, California. Food was provided by California business, MOJO burger, and a local Jamba Juice. Many family members and friends provided entertainment for the evening. There were performances by Dane's brother, Cade, former X-Factor contestants and now professional musicians Ryan Sims and Ethan Newman, singer-songwriter and teacher James Nobriga and his wife Katie Joy, and the phenomenal vocalist, songwriter and musician Joyce Randolph. Howard Dietz, a high school senior and award-winning saxophonist, joined other musicians for a 5-song set, and Kat Lernihan, a high school freshman and guitarist/vocalist took the stage as well for a three-song set. The evening also featured many performances by the Capitol Dance Company competition team dancers. Leading off the night was Dane's sister, Chandler Phelps, with a lyrical dance solo, "You'll Be in my Heart" dedicated to her brother, Dane, and all her friends at FIRST.
The evening was a tremendous success, raising more than $20,000 for FIRST! Eric and Suzanne received such a fantastic response from their community and the evening was such a success that next year's event is already planned for September 2013!
|FIRST brochures and information was available at the event.||Cade plays the guitar.||Suzanne on stage with the performers.||Les Avakian and Suzanne Phelps|
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