Reggae lovers brave rain for cancer

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Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

At least that’s the way Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Marley most likely would have felt when a thunderstorm blew through Centennial Center Park July 27, drenching music lovers at the Second Annual Reggae in the Park concert.

Although wind and rain thinned the crowd, Marley’s band, The Original Wailers, played on to benefit Cancer Care Initiative, a charity organization dedicated to bringing the best mix of traditional and alternative cancer-fighting therapies to those in need.

“The City of Centennial is honored Cancer Care Initiative selected Centennial Center Park as the location for their event,” said Mayor Cathy Noon. “Despite the rain, I think everyone who attended had a good time.”

With a selection of classic Marley tunes and a few from their Grammy-nominated album, “Miracle,” The Original Wailers kept the crowd swaying until the very last note.

Lead guitarist and original band member Al Anderson kept the familiar licks coming.

“I didn’t really care so much about the rain,” said Wailers fan Jacob Mills of Denver. “My friends and I are here mainly to dig the spirit of the man, Bob, and for the spirit of what this event supports.”

Marley, himself, endured a fight against cancer.

In July of 1977, the reggae icon was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma found beneath one of his toenails. He refused to have it amputated and sought controversial alternative treatments centered on the avoidance of certain foods and substances. He died of cancer four years later.

“The concert is a great way for the general public to attend an event that is upbeat and provides music to support a cause,” said Progressive Health Center Chief Executive Officer Sue Goodin. “We want the community to have fun, enjoy themselves and learn more about our charity and how it supports the community."

Reggae in the Park is a collaborative effort between Anderson and two-time cancer survivor and former Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl.