The 2023 Rock with Love fundraiser in support of the Sarah McComb Benefit Fund to support cancer research will take place on the night of Saturday, Nov. 4.
A longtime member of the Beach community, McComb died in September of 2021 following her second battle with breast cancer.
The Rock with Love event was first held in the fall of 2022 in her memory, and it raised $250,000 to go towards a trio of cancer research initiatives at St. Michael’s Hospital where McComb was a patient.
This year’s Rock with Love 2.0 event will take place at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., starting at 7 p.m.
McComb had deep roots in the Beach community. She was a mother, swim coach, substitute teacher at St. Denis Catholic School, involved in Girl Guides and more.
The attendance at the inaugural Rock with Love event was a testament to the impact she had in the community and how many cared about her, said her husband Wes McComb. In organizing the event, he said an emphasis was put on including young people since Sarah was so involved in the lives of her four children.
“The Rock With Love concert went even better than we had hoped for,” said Wes of last year’s event. “We kept the ticket prices lower for young people under the age of 30. This allowed our children’s friends to attend. And a rock concert has a fun, energetic vibe when there are young people.
“Though us older folks were also dancing along with the band. It was really important to have the kids’ friends there since Sarah was a teacher at St. Denis in the Beach as well as having four children, she knew a lot of them. This was primarily a Beaches party so it really brought the whole community together.”
Wes said the event is obviously very special to Sarah’s family, and it meant a lot to have so many friends and neighbours attending Rock with Love.
“The event itself, the rock concert, was a great way to get our community together. Having The Opera House packed almost entirely with people we knew was really special for our family, he said.
“It brought home to us how Sarah did bring people together and that her memory still does. The warmth, the sense of having fun in such a meaningful way really is something that we will cherish forever. It would be great for all of us if we can do that every year.”
Wes said the money raised at Rock with Love goes to local cancer researchers, which is an important point to be made.
“It is very difficult for medical researchers in Toronto to get this early stage funding. Many of our brightest minds have to leave here to do their work elsewhere just to get funding. So , the money we raise helps our country, city and ultimately our community,” said.
Sponsors for Rock with Love 2.0 on Nov. 4 include the National Bank of Canada, local realtor Shea Warrington of Shea Sells Boutique, the McComb family, and the Tricketts family (who are the family of Sarah’s sister’s Ciara).
Information on Rock with Love 2.0, including a link on how to buy tickets, is available on the Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/rockwithlove1/