Annapalooza: A Summer Bash to Benefit Neuroblastoma

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Wheaton native Anna O'Connor is passionate about finding a cure for neuroblastoma. She founded "Anna's Hope" earlier this year to help generate awareness about the disease - an aggressive and deadly form of pediatric cancer that she herself has been battling for seven years. As part of her ongoing campaign to raise money for research, Anna is hosting "Annapalooza" on July 18, from 3 to 9 pm on the grounds of the Community Fellowship Church, 28W240 North Ave., West Chicago, IL 60185.

I'm very excited about this event and am so appreciative of the support I've received from my church, family, friends and business sponsors to make it happen

The Annapalooza music festival will feature an exciting line-up of bands, games for all ages, food, raffles and good summer fun. Admission is free; however, activities and raffle items will require ticket purchases. No outside food or drinks will be permitted.

"I'm very excited about this event and am so appreciative of the support I've received from my church, family, friends and business sponsors to make it happen," said Anna. "We have a great line-up of bands and a lot of terrific games and activities planned. We will also provide numerous opportunities for people to donate money to this important cause."

The current Annapalooza schedule of entertainment includes:
3:00 pm     Bruce Swift and Friends
4:30 pm     Heavier Things http://www.heavierthings.net (John Mayer Tribute Band)
6:00 pm     The Preamble http://www.myspace.com/wearethepreamble
7:30 pm     Reilly http://www.reillytheband.com

Annapalooza promises to be a great event for the entire family with a variety of activities and carnival games, including goldfish toss, face painting and a "moon bounce" for children. There will also be great auction items, like iPods, Cubs and White Sox tickets and autographed jerseys and sports equipment available for bid throughout the event. Bring a blanket, friends and family, and plan to spend the entire day making a difference in the lives of children fighting neuroblastoma.

O'Connor was diagnosed with neuroblastoma upon entering her senior year of high school. The initial treatments of high dose chemotherapy proved ineffective against the cancer and she had to turn to experimental drug therapies to keep her alive. Considered a neuroblastoma Warrior, O'Connor has pioneered a number of neuroblastoma treatments that without private funding would not be available. Although currently stable, O'Connor has exhausted her treatment options and is now pursuing other cancer treatments in hopes of maintaining her quality of life and sustaining her "Anna's Hope" mission.

Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor cancer that arises in immature nerve cells and most often strikes infants and toddlers. It is the most common cancer affecting infants, with an incidence rate of almost double that of leukemia. Its cause is unknown. Currently, for every dollar received through grants and private donations for pediatric cancer, less than one percent goes toward funding Neuroblastoma research grants, awards and fellowships.
For more information about Annapalooza, to become an event sponsor or simply make a donation to help Anna's Hope, please visit http://www.annashope.com.

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Lisa DiBenedetto
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