On the red carpet at Macy's Glamorama
Yvonne Welborn with Cirque performers, Sheryl Crow
Macy's and Minneapolis-based Children's Cancer Research Fund came together Friday night for Glamorama, a fundraiser at the State Theatre dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer. City Pages talked with the performers, childhood charity ambassador, and executives behind the event on the red carpet prior to the show.
Grammy-Award winner Sheryl Crow, who is a cancer survivor herself, headlined the evening. Prior to her performance, Crow said she was looking forward to seeing and putting on a great show.
"I've already seen the whole show and it's amazing," Crow says. "I love all the Cirque du Soleil stuff, and I'm looking forward to playing -- that's my favorite thing to do. It's going to be a great audience."
Crow recently played a show at Mystic Lake Casino, and joked that she is the "Minnesota house band" because she plays here often. She enjoys spending time and performing in Minnesota.
"I like the people here," Crow says. "Even though I was born below the Mason-Dixon Line, I consider myself a Midwesterner. I have a lot of friends from Minneapolis. I almost married a boy from Minneapolis, and I love the music that's come out of here. We've been coming here for 20 years, and it's just a great place to play music."
Each year, a child is selected to be an ambassador for Glamorama. Yvonne Welborn, a 12-year-old St. Paul resident who was diagnosed with stage 4B Hodgkin's Lymphoma last year, represented the organization this year. Her mom, Julie Davis, accompanied her on the red carpet, and says they are happy to see so many people dedicate time and money to a great cause.
"Glamorama is just amazing," Davis says. "I had no idea how big of an event this is. To see the support that children's cancer is getting is just amazing. I'm so grateful."
Welborn was declared cancer-free on March 7 of this year, and her family is thankful for the continued research being done at the University of Minnesota.
"My daughter was treated at Amplatz Children's Hospital [at the University of Minnesota]," Davis says. "I knew I wanted to be at a teaching hospital. To know that they're doing the research right there [in Minneapolis] makes you feel better."
"It just breaks my heart when I see a child like Yvonne -- who is luckily doing so great -- and to see how many parents have to deal with the helplessness of having a sick child," Crow says. "I would love to see cancer across the board wiped out, but particularly with kids, it would be great if they never had to worry about that."
The Cirque du Soleil performers this year had a special connection with Welborn, as she is an aspiring gymnast and dancer who fell in love with Cirque after seeing them in Las Vegas this year.
"The best thing is to take the acts that have been playing at Treasure Island [in Las Vegas] for 20 years and bring them to another venue," artistic director David Gomez says. "It's exciting for us, and it's exciting for the artists."
The Summer Set
The Summer Set, comprised of vocalist Brian Dales, drummer Jess Bowen, guitarists John Gomez and Josh Montgomery, and bassist Stephen Gomez, won the Macy's iHeartRadio contest this year, and performed at Glamorama. John, Stephen, and Bowen are fans of Mall of America, while Montgomery likes the Vikings.
"We've played in Minnesota many times and we always have a great time," Dales says.
Once again, the event is considered a success.
"We've been blessed that this is our 22nd year that Macy's has been a partner, and together we've raised over five-million dollars," says John Hallberg, chief executive officer of Children's Cancer Research Fund (CCRF). "There's not only the financial impact [of our partnership], but also millions of people have attended the show or seen the Glamorama advertising. It's great awareness for our cause."
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