Lauren Kent, 28, wore a bright aqua wig with metallic goggles on top, a hot pink and aqua running outfit, and a brown over-theshoulder bag that she made herself to run through all five boroughs in the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, 2010. Three days after finishing the race in 4 hours, 45 minutes, she suffered a massive stroke. Now Lauren and her mother Jan Kent are staying in midtown Manhattan and receiving outpatient therapy and home therapy at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, part of the New York University Langone Medical Center.
The Kents are making their way back to Syracuse, where they have resided for most of their lives, in honor of Lauren’s continuing success. On Sunday, March 6, 4 to 9 p.m., Upstairs at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., will celebrate and support Lauren’s recovery.
The benefit, Restorin’ Lauren: Gettin’ Stoked to Conquer Stroke, will be held in the upstairs banquet room and will feature three of the Kents’ favorite local bands, all Syracuse New Times Syracuse Area Music Award winners: Mark Doyle and The Maniacs, The Fabulous Ripcords and Los Blancos. There will also be a silent auction and food will be available for purchase.
“This is another kind of marathon, where you don’t know the course and you don’t know where the finish line is,” says Jan, over the phone, about Lauren’s recovery process . “The attitude we have is, let’s train like you’re going to run again. That’s the fire in the belly. She’s smiling now, just listening to me talk about her running.”
Jan’s closest friends, particularly her music-lov- ing friends, planned the benefit. Colin Aberdeen, vocalist and guitarist of Los Blancos, was the prime mover, Jan says. Melissa Reider, from Sherburne, and Michele Bouchard, from Baldwinsville, also helped organize the event with added fundraisers and promotions.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Lauren again,” says Aberdeen. “She’s a lovely woman—spirited and radiant.”
There will be three sets, each saturated with a different flavor of the blues. Mark Doyle and The Maniacs, a British-style blues band with a big emphasis on guitar, will perform first. “I don’t know her daughter Lauren, but I have a daughter of my own and when I heard the news of Lauren’s stroke, there was no question that we wanted to help in any way we could,”
says Mark Doyle, world-renowned vocalist and guitarist. “And reading Jan’s updates on Facebook about Lauren’s recovery have been so touching and inspiring. There is nothing more fierce than a mother’s love.”
The Fabulous Ripcords, mixing roots, rockabilly, country, blues and swing, will perform second. “We’re just going to go out there and play like we normally do,” says Irv Lyons, vocalist and guitarist. “Our music is very upbeat music that will make you dance.”
Another local favorite, Los Blancos rips through blues, soul, rock, Latin and funk and will close the benefit. “It’s going to be a great time of local friends enjoying outstanding music of a national caliber at the local level,” says Aberdeen. “The best part? We get to help Jan, one of our greatest supporters.”
The auction will feature a variety of goods and services, from original artwork and crafts, to restaurant and hotel gift certificates, to tickets to sporting and cultural events. Light snacks will be provided by the venue.
Tickets can be purchased for $20 at Shifty’s Bar & Grill, 1401 Burnet Ave.; the Cycle Shack, 7216 Mutton Hill Road, Auburn; and Bijou Salon, 6 Jordan St., Skaneateles. All proceeds from the event will be used to offset expenses associated with Lauren’s recovery. For more information, call 383-4886.
Blues power: Mark Doyle and the Maniacs, pictured here at the 2010 Syracuse New Times Sammy Awards, leads off the March 6 benefit for Lauren Kent Upstairs at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.