Chicago Cancer Patient Reacts to Message from Ryan Seacrest

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Created for Anna Martin, the Open Mic Challenge was an elimination-style competition for Chicago musicians. Between Jul — Aug 2020 viewers were able to watch a one hour livestream on Wednesday nights and vote for their favorite musician.

Created by Joe Martin and Ashley Havertine, the event raised money for breast cancer research and awareness through the American Cancer Society. A cause very close to them after Joe’s mom was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in May 2020.

Shortly after Joe shared he was putting this event together, he received the following text message. Saying that she, “Had a dream you contacted Ryan Seacrest and he did something for you remotely.”

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Text message to Joe from his mom on Thu, Jun 11th

2 months later, Joe and Ashley helped that dream come true. A series of friends and colleagues went above and beyond to get the creators in contact with The Seacrest Foundation to share their story and how much a small message would mean to Anna.

She loved it.
She absolutely loved it.

Video from Ryan Seacrest for the Aug 12, 2020, Championship Match

The video was followed by a performance of Kanye West’s “Hey Mama” by Joe and the evening concluded with the announcement of the competition winner.

Through voting/donations the event helped to raise over $2,000, generated over 300 votes and brought hundreds of people together to listen to local musicians play live. While the competition has ended, musicians have agreed to come back for one last show on Wed, Sept 30th. Between now and then, you can still donate through Wed, Sept 30th to the GoFundMe — helping the creators get a little closer to the “dream big” goal of $20,000 for the American Cancer Society.

None of this was possible without the help, love, and support of so many.

The creators have donated the website, emails, voting forms, and overall structure to the American Cancer Society. Their hope is that it helps others run this same type of fundraiser to celebrate musicians in their local community.

You can email Ashley at ACS to learn more about creating your own Open Mic event. No one can promise Ryan Seacrest will show up, but we can guarantee that something incredible happens when you bring people together to celebrate their local community.

Open Mic Challenge was a 6-week elimination-style competition for Chicago musicians. Created by Joe Martin and Ashley Havertine, the event raised money for the American Cancer Society in honor of Joe’s mom, who is currently battling stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

Entrepreneur, author, and TEDx Speaker who believes real world interactions are more valuable than digital ones.

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