Friends, community step up for Gemmell benefit
Nothing complements a good barbecue better than hot music.For Tammy Gemmell, an upcoming hoedown and collaborative concert will mean considerably more. Shes dealing with medical bills and her co-workers and friends have pulled together a barbecue benefit to help out.Gemmell, who is fighting ovarian cancer, has been an employee of Smokin Moes, where the event is planned, since 1998. She served as bartender and manager until last fall, when she had to cut down to what friend and hoedown organizer Jeanette McQuade calls cameo bartender appearances.The former health care professional started doing research last fall after she was diagnosed. Through what she learned and her career knowledge she chose to make a stance through alternative rather than traditional treatment (Reiki, acupuncture, oncology acupuncture and other Chinese medicines).The route might not be for everyone, she knows. But she knows the effects aggressive radiation and chemotherapy can have on the human body. Taking a holistic approach, she said, has added a 5- to 15-percent increase to the five-year survival chances she was given with ovarian cancer. She is relieved to report shes had positive results: Over the Thanksgiving holiday her doctor told her that one of her tumors is getting smaller.Shy by nature, Gemmell agreed to publicize the benefit in hopes she can raise awareness for other women. Even if those diagnosed with ovarian cancer choose traditional medicine, Gemmell said there are holistic methods that can help treat the side effects.She said if she has to beat cancer with sheer willpower and positive thinking, then that is what shell do. Looking at life with new eyes, she sees the challenge as a blessing. She said it has taught her how to live and appreciate the little things in life and the people in her life.The support of Chris H. Rohling, love of her life, friends, family, and laughter are what are helping her through it, she said.Shes a wonderful person, said Dan Cormican, Smokin Moes co-owner. Cormican, business partner with Ian Gough, said Gemmell always helped everybody, including Smokin Moes. Now its our turn to help her.They are dishing up a buffet for the event, followed by entertainment from a list of good-hearted Grand County musicians. Andy Irvine brings along a Blues Collective of Kay Irvine, Brad Pregeant, Yaniv Salzberg, and Terry Tompkins; and Hunker Down is also set to keep things hopping.Several businesses have also come together for the cause through silent auction donations and sponsorships: Mo Henrys plunked down a half-day, two-person guided fly fishing tour. Other donors and sponsors include Art Ferrari photography, Fontenots, Mirasol Cantina, Carlos & Marias, Singin Dog, Winter Park Pub, Back Country Grill, Tabernash Tavern, Hernandos, Christy Sports, B Jammin, Winter Park Resort, Rudis Deli, Tranquility Massage, Cascades Cabins, Winter Park Sushi Bar, Rocky Mountain Moonshine, Be …, Buckets Saloon, Rising Sun Silverworks, Jewelry By Mary Roth, Denos, The Roofing Company, and the Green Olive.Tickets are $20 and proceeds from the dinner, show and silent auction will be used to help Gemmell pay for medical treatment.
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