When Anthony Di Cintio’s family friend, Matthew, was diagnosed with leukemia, Di Cintio wanted to find a way to show his support, rally the family, and bring people together around the cause.
Combining music, stand-up, homemade bake goods, and coffee, his upcoming event, Light the Night Coffee House, is designed to do just that.Di Cintio is the main organizer, with friends and classmates in the McGill Faculty of Medicine volunteering to help run it.
“I thought if I could organize a charity in respect to him and his family, it could be a sign of hope,” said Di Cintio. “I did it to bring up the spirits of the family, and I think it has.”
The Light the Night Coffee House is a fundraiser being held in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), which is a voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services.
The event is in its third year and has raised $3,500 for the cause. With the goal of expanding and attracting more than just immediate friends, this is the first year it’s being held downtown.
The night is styled like a coffee house with a set of acoustic musical acts (including Di Cintio himself), stand-up comedians, and an open-mic session. Under the theme ‘Mardi Gras,’ there will also be a photo booth, bake sale, raffle prizes and of course, lots of coffee.
“I thought of something I would enjoy doing and going to,” said Di Cintio about organizing the event. “It’s going to be a nice, kickback acoustic night.”
Concordia student, Liana Di lorio, is planning on performing during the open-mic portion of the coffee house.
“I love the event because it’s low-key, laid back and, ultimately, a full night of entertainment for a really great cause,” said Di lorio. “The LTN coffee house has that kind of ‘We can make a difference’ vibe without pressuring you to make a donation.”
Matthew himself is currently in the hospital, having just finished a round of chemotherapy and is awaiting a bone marrow transplant. His girlfriend, Cristina Cinquanta, is the senior campaign coordinator for the LLS’s Light the Night Walk in Montreal. She and Matthew joined the walk in 2009 and since then, with the help and support of family and friends, have raised $105,000 for the society.
“The Light the Night Coffee House fundraiser has contributed tremendously towards our team goal and the goals of the society, which is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families,” said Cinquanta. “We are extremely thankful for Anthony’s support and generosity.”
Tickets for Friday’s event cost $15 and all proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, through the Light the Night Walk 2014.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at Thompson House Ballroom, 3650 Rue McTavish, Montreal.