Charity concert to support upcoming Brooklyn Center children’s hospice

A special benefit concert to support an upcoming children’s hospice center in Brooklyn Center will be held with a unique combination of motor racing and rock music.

On Saturday, July 22, the nonprofit Mary Moon Foundation will host an event at the Elko Speedway in Elko New Market, Minnesota, with proceeds going towards Crescent Cove, the first children’s hospice home in the Midwest that is set to open in Brooklyn Center later this year.

The all-ages event will begin with NASCAR racing on the speedway, followed by a musical performance by 1980s hair metal tribute band Hairball. Crescent Cove, a St. Louis Park-based nonprofit dedicated to offering care to children with terminal illnesses, purchased a former North Memorial adult hospice care center on the 4200 block of 58th Street in Brooklyn Center, with the transfer becoming official in early May.

Crescent Cove is still working towards reaching its $5 million land purchase and first-year operating costs fundraising goal. In May, the organization already reached half of that goal, thanks in part to a March fundraiser hosted by the Mary Moon Foundation at the Mall of America. The foundation was created by Peter and Christine O’Keefe after the 2009 death of their 3-year-old daughter Mary from pediatric cancer.

“I remember leaving Mary’s room on the oncology unit and seeing the other pediatric children in the hall, still alive, while Mary’s body was being transported to the hospital morgue,” said Christine O’Keefe in a statement. “A pediatric hospice program would have been beneficial to our family if it was available to us. I believe a team who specializes in end-of-life care would have helped give us the tools to handle the painful transition in the family dynamics with losing a child.”

The Brooklyn Center location will be just the third children’s hospice and respite center in the entire country, despite the nearly 5,000 such centers for adults across the United States. The new 6,700-square-foot center is scheduled for a fall opening, and will offer palliative care for terminally ill children, while also offering respite to the patients’ families and caregivers.

“Children’s hospital providers in the Twin Cities all agree that there is a great need for a pediatric hospice and respite care home, and it is our goal to work collaboratively,” Crescent Cove Executive Director Katie Lindenfelser said.

The July 22 event will kick off at 3 p.m. with gates opening for the general public, and racing will begin at 4 p.m. An opening concert featuring the band Neptune Cocktail is 7:45-8:30 p.m., followed by a 9-11 p.m. performance by Hairball. Neptune Cocktail will perform in an indoor venue from 11:15 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The event will also feature a truck raffle at 9 p.m., a variety of food and beverage vendors, and an appearance by DJs Lisa Miller and Ray Erick from KQRS-FM. Adult tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 after 5 p.m. July 22. Tickets for kids ages 4-12 are $5 in advance and $10 at the door, and children three and under can get in for free.

There are also limited VIP tickets for $40, and they include reserved seating near the stage, a private bar for beer sales, and more. Tickets can be purchased at marymoonfoundation.org. Elko Speedway is located at 26350 France Ave. in Elko.

Contact Christiaan Tarbox at [email protected]