Show will benefit local families in need

Today, Kenny Cook is not only thankful — he’s turning his gratitude into action.

A year ago, Cook’s son Andrew — nicknamed Drewla — was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The owners of SoHo Bar & Grill, along with Atlanta band Blacksmithz, helped organize a community fundraiser for Cook’s family. It raised about $4,000.

Andrew, 14, is now doing much better. But his father hasn’t forgotten the Columbus area’s generosity during his time of need. That’s why he’s paying it forward, creating his own fundraiser for another set of families.

The event, Drewlafest 2009, will be held Dec. 5 at The Roadhouse in downtown Columbus.

It’s a rock music extravaganza that features performances by local and regional acts like Joey Robinson and Heath Jackson, The Chris Collins Band, L.E.D., Nothing More, Pandemic and Alternate North.

Donations will benefit the Bishop family of Columbus and the Guckenberger family of LaGrange.

The Bishops travel back and forth to the Emory Healthcare system in Atlanta with a 3-year-old daughter who’s dealing with a complicated set of medical problems.

The Guckenbergers have an 8-month-old son who was born with some of his organs outside his body. He hasn’t left Emory since birth.

“It’s just unreal,” said Cook. “These people are going through so much stuff.”

His son’s medical struggles made him more aware of the extent of need in his own community.

“My family was like really shocked by this,” Cook said. “It just really opened our eyes to a lot of things.”

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