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Darrell Harwood presents $40,000 check to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

In just two years, a brand new and local music festival has raised more than $75,000 for cancer research.

Darrell Harwood founded, hosts and headlines the Stand Together Music Festival in China Grove, Harwood’s hometown.

Proceeds — generated through T-shirt sales, donations, raffle tickets and other merchandise during the annual festival — benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The society funds research for blood cancer treatments and cures.

At the start of Tuesday’s China Grove Town Council meeting, Harwood presented the society’s business development manager, Cathy Bloomberg, with this year’s proceeds — $40,000 — by way of check.

Bloomberg then introduced Mia Furrer, the society’s “Light the Night” Honored Hero of the Year. Furrer survived Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has been cancer-free for two years.

Furrer said that last year, 18 blood cancer drugs where approved. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation had a hand in funding 16 of those, she said, thanking the town and volunteers for their part in the Stand Together festival.

She said money given to the society goes straight to research, and that continued work is curing all types of cancer — not just blood cancer.

Harwood thanked Mayor Lee Withers, the Town Council, events coordinator Patti Price and the town staff for helping with the festival.

China Grove provides the venue in Hanna Park, as well as police and fire support.

“On behalf of me, the mayor, and the town, I’m honored that (Harwood) chose China Grove to host the festival,” said Withers. “The little bit we get to be a part of it, it’s very rewarding to see.”

Withers said that he was incredibly inspired by Furrer’s story and that as far as he knew the concert and fundraiser will continue for many years to come.

“She was just an amazing young lady,” he said. “To see the efforts that you do put forward actually touch and impact someone makes it all worthwhile.”

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