The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Courtesy photo.

NH Rocks for a Cure 3rd Annual Concert 

When: Sunday, Oct. 4, noon
Where: Tin Roof Tavern, 333 Valley St., Manchester
Tickets: $15 at  

Wish fulfillment
Local talent joins for breast cancer benefit

By Michael Witthaus

The New Hampshire Rocks for a Cure concert on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Manchester’s Tin Roof Tavern is a kind of Make-A-Wish Foundation for adults, as local musicians and merchants and artists come together in the fight against breast cancer. The nonprofit group’s goal is laser focused, cofounder Jules Loehr said in a recent Skype interview.

“Our main mission is to make wishes come true for terminal breast cancer patients,” she said. “Myself being a 15-year breast cancer survivor, I’ve always paid it forward to those going through treatment.”
The Razzles, Cold Engines, Brad Bosse and Hunter will perform, with many more pitching in through donations. A local music basket will be raffled off containing a signed guitar, band CDs and swag. A Simple Complex, Floodwatch, Best Not Broken, Tom Dixon, Brickyard Blues, German Schauss and Blindspot are among those helping out even though they aren’t able to appear. Guitarist Gary Hoey wanted to be on the bill but couldn’t; instead, he sent a T-shirt, autographed photo and copy of his latest album.
What explains the local music community’s enthusiasm for the cause? 
“All of the bands in one way or another have been affected by it,” Loehr said. “Whenever we ask one to play, they have a story.” 
NH Rocks for a Cure publicist Krystle Stayman, joining in for the Skype interview, pointed out that having scene habitués in the nonprofit’s leadership helps with recruiting.  She, Loehr and cofounder Josh Rowsey spend much of their free time watching bands in clubs; musicians and venues seem happy to return the favor. 
“We support the people who support us, so it’s a two-way street,” she said. “People are so willing; with Tin Roof Tavern, we didn’t even get the sentence out of our mouth and they said, ‘Yeah, we’ll donate the space.”
Local businesses have jumped on board with contributions. Zorvino Vineyards donated a 20-person wine tasting party. A Longhorn Restaurant steakhouse basket, Pampered Chef cooking gear and an array of adult novelties from Athena’s are also among the raffle items. 
It’s the third annual event for the organization, but their efforts date back to 2008, when Stayman held a three-band fundraiser in their hometown of Milford to raise money for a national breast cancer walk. Fast forward to 2013, they decided to do it on their own and keep the money in state. The first show happened at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester and featured 10 local acts.
Loehr learned of a friend living in Las Vegas and decided to lift her spirits. 
“She was terminal and fighting several other cancers, and she wanted to go to Ireland,” she said. “Between my resources here in New Hampshire and my friend Justin Spencer in Recycled Percussion in Las Vegas, we ended up raising enough to send her to Ireland in March 2014. That’s when our mission changed.” 
Last year, the organization received formal nonprofit status from the state. 
Tickets to the event are $15 and include a well-stocked buffet. Chris DeSimone, who hosts Frank’s Local Music Show Sunday nights on Frank-FM, will emcee the event. The Nashua classic rock station is also providing promotional support. 
“With the help of Chris and his live local show, we’ve gelled,” Loehr said. “He shares our interest, and he’s been on board since day one ... for the long haul.”
The organization has expanded its efforts this year to include a motorcycle ride and road race. An ongoing outreach effort regularly provides “fun bags” to breast cancer patients. The tote bags contain comfy socks, protein bars, hand sanitizers, hard candy and other essentials. Those interested in donating or taking part in bag assembly and delivery can learn more at
Wish fulfillment endures as the main focus, however. 
“Many breast cancer patients are fighting the fight and are never given an opportunity to live out their dreams; they worry about work, bills, and their families,” Stayman wrote in a recent email.  “We would like to make those wishes come true, make a legacy … and cross those things off the bucket list using the resources and connections we have. There is no wish too big or too small.” 

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