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Motivation For Cancer Benefit Comes From Family, The President

Singer, actress and teacher Meera Popkin-Tarack found inspiration from her family, her love of the arts and Barack Obama to organize a local benefit for the American Cancer Society.

Popkin-Tarack told WFIU's George Walker that "both my parents are cancer survivors, breast and testicular. One was a long time ago the other is ongoing."

She sites those as reasons she wanted to participate in this event. "But, really", she says, "a lot of the motivation comes from Barack Obama."

"Those speeches that he made calling on all of us to become involved, to get out and do things were really moving."

Popkin-Tarack had both family and political motivation, but the shape that her actions took was inspired by her own life and her dedication to local arts.

"I've been involved with the arts since I was five and so it was natural that I'd use that background," she said.

Eventhough she's a New York based artist, Popkin-Tarack wanted to showcase the terrific performers and the incredible variety of performers in Bloomington.

"We'll have rock bands, reggae bands, and even a little band. Our dancers come from Windfall along with folk and Irish step dancers."

The benefit will even have martial arts with students from one of the sponsors, Lee's Martial Arts, breaking boards and doing forms.

"Eventhough it's the first we really think that we have a great show that everyone will enjoy."

The 1st Annual Cancer Benefit takes place Sunday at 7 in the John Waldron Arts Center, April 5, 2009.

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