Quinceanera for College

Time flies when you are having fun, and I had A LOT of fun over the past week. What did I do? What was so important last week that I completely ignored posting a new blog? In case you do not follow Cancer for College on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter  you may not have heard that last Friday we hosted our biggest event ever! And it was incredible.

With the help of our ever-awesome spokesman, Will Ferrell, we partnered with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their charity, Silverlake Conservatory of Music to unleash Will Ferrell & Chad Smith’s Red Hot Benefit Comedy + Music Show & Quinceanera. Such an audaciously-named event was accompanied by a cadre of talented comedians and an all-star lineup of drummers, and you can read a great recap of the actual event on Rolling Stone; today is also the last day you can watch the entire drum-off on Funny Or Die. You do not want to miss the opportunity to see this clash of world-class drummers.


The stars of the quinceanera, Chad Smith & Will Ferrell. || Photo by Andy Keilan

As a new employee of Cancer for College, this was the first time I was involved in the preparation of such a massive event. Backstage, there was not a moment before, during, or for hours after the show that there were not teams of intently focused people running around making sure every detail was perfect. From production experts to volunteers, no hands were idle the entire day, but what surprised me most was that some of those hands belonged to the very people who were performing in front of a packed house later that night. There was no distinction between celebrity and people like me backstage as everyone was equally committed to making the night amazing.

People in the audience that night were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime combination of music and comedy, and we have heard many different “favorite moments.” My favorite moment, though, was one that you could only have seen if you were backstage. It was when I got to see Will Ferrell interacting with one of the Cancer for College recipients who volunteered to help out at the show. This recipient had met Will years before when she first found out that she had won a Cancer for College scholarship, and now they were both working together to ensure that many more cancer survivors would be able to achieve their dream of a college education, and get back to thriving after cancer.

It was a great reminder that amidst the thunderous drumming and raucous laughter (after seeing Will Ferrell don a sparkly, baby blue quinceanera dress) everyone was there to show support for cancer survivors they have not even met yet. Simply buying a ticket, getting involved, and using your gifts is all that is required to make a lasting difference in someone’s life. So, after you are finished watching the drum-off (click here) why not head over to cancerforcollege.org to either make a donation or see how you can get involved in one of our next events. Plus, don’t you want to say you were involved in the event that was somehow just as good as a quinceanera for a couple of old, white guys?

Pro Pic - CircleAbout the author: Mitch Friesen is a childhood cancer survivor, CFC scholarship recipient (2011-2014), and now works for Cancer for College as their Director of Growth & Community. Mitch graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business Management and minor in Theology. A lifelong learner and lover of adventure, when Mitch is not catching up with all of the awesome CFC recipients, he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his bombshell of a wife (Abbey), watching/playing soccer, and drinking coffee.