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VOL. 125 | NO. 167 | Friday, August 27, 2010

Mainstream Events Launches Biz With ‘Battle for a Cure’

MITCH McCRACKEN | Special to The Daily News

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Any contest billed as a “battle of the bands” tends to attract throngs of people who want to see how their favorite musical group stacks up to the competition.

Because large crowds flock to these events – and have done so for generations – Kasey Smothers of Mainstream Events LLC thought it would be a good way to raise money for the Mid-South Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

So Smothers created “Battle for a Cure,” an all-ages battle of the bands fundraiser to be held Saturday at Minglewood Hall, 1555 Madison Ave.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the event, which features 12 bands “battling” for bragging rights. General admission tickets are $18 plus a convenience fee.

“We take pride in taking a dream and making it a reality. Our staff has over 15 years of combined experience in event planning,” Smothers said. “This charity event will be the first event under the name Mainstream Events, which opened this year. I formed my team a year ago and we have worked on school reunions, weddings and corporate parties.”

Now Mainstream Events will put its planning savvy into an event that raises money to help fight MS, a “chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system,” according to the MS Society’s website.

“Mainstream Events got involved with the Multiple Sclerosis Society so that we could help make a difference,” Smothers said.

“I personally have friends and family that have been diagnosed with this serious disease and for Mainstream to be able to say we were able to raise money and help with the search for a cure is very rewarding for me. We look forward to working with the MS Society for years to come.”

Approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. have MS and 200 are diagnosed with the disease every week, according to the National MS Society. Although there is no cure for MS, effective strategies are available to modify the disease course, treat exacerbations, manage symptoms, improve function and safety, and provide emotional support.

“The vision of the National MS Society is to have a world free of MS,” said Ashley Davis, director of development of the National MS Society’s local chapter. “Because of community leaders like Kasey Smothers and Mainstream Events, we are able to provide the funding towards research into finding a cause and cure for MS. We are also able to provide programs and services for the 8,400 people living with MS throughout Tennessee.”

The “Battle for a Cure” is one way the local chapter can help provide those programs and services to area residents living with the disease.

That helped attract Andy Childs, a Memphis musician, to the event. Not only will he emcee “Battle for a Cure,” but he also will perform.

Childs recorded two albums for RCA Records in Nashville. His music has featured guest appearances from Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles on background vocals and Mac MacAnally on guitar and vocals for Childs’ version of MacAnally’s song “Simple Life.”

Three of Childs’ singles managed chart success, and the accompanying videos received frequent airplay on Country Music Television, The Nashville Network and other stations.

Childs spent years on the road opening for the likes of Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Now he said he looks forward to helping Smothers and her crew in this hometown cause.

“What a pleasure it is to work with Mainstream Events,” Childs said. “Kasey’s attention to detail and willingness to take care of any extra requests have made me feel secure and comfortable with my role in the event. I look forward to working with them more in the future.”

The 12 bands that will be competing are Stratus, Section 8, Foresight, F2S (Failure to Stop), Typewriter Ribbon, Silas Reed N’ Da Books, Brian Rhodes, Zephyr Ellis, Mimi & the Blues Rockers, Disembrace, After the Storm and Drag the Waters.

Childs said the lineup will have something for everyone.

“The Battle for a Cure show will showcase up-and-coming Memphis area bands in one of the best music venues in Memphis,” he said.

“Regardless of the winner, each band is getting a chance to showcase themselves to a large audience, and I think that people are going to be knocked out by the talent that continues to come out of Memphis. This will most likely become an annual event and it definitely should be.”

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