Members of the community came out to a one-of-a-kind fundraiser on June 2 at a private residence in Phoenixville in support of the Miller family of Collegeville. Mother-of-two Suzanne Miller, who recently lost her husband Robert to cancer, is fighting her own battle against the disease as well.
Several musicians came out to perform acoustic sets, including Eric Basilian of the Hooters, British pop star and songwriter James Bourne, Grammy winner Scot Sax, and local Phoenixville musician Cliff Hillis.
Attendees to the benefit were also able to bid on different items in a silent auction, which featured jewelry donated by pop star Gwen Stefani.
The Proceeds raised from tickets sold to attend the event are going toward the Miller family’s medical costs.
Miller said she enjoyed the event, especially when her sons performed a short music set to start the show as everyone supported them by singing along, clapping and whistling.
“The fundraiser was awesome,” said Miller. “It was like a big family reunion with family members I’d never met. Everyone was so welcoming and caring.”
“I love seeing Scot Sax perform, said Miller. “He’s a hoot. And his wife is not only beautiful and smart, but also a very talented musician. Wow!”
Basilian said he was happy to donate his time to a good cause.
“My attitude about things like this, when possible just say ‘yes’. I like to play in every possible format.”
Miller, a longtime Hooters fan, enjoyed seeing Basilian.
“Yes, that was a highlight,” said Miller. “Rubbing shoulders with a celebrity who was very down to earth, genuine and caring. And his wife must be an angel on earth.”
Hillis was also more than willing to play at the fundraiser, and said he knows the Miller family personally.
“Well for me it’s very special to be able to be here because I was actually friends with Rob (Miller) and am friends with his wife Sue,” he said. “They have crazy medical costs from all the stuff they’ve been going through.”
Hillis’ performance clearly meant a lot to Miller.
“My absolute favorite was our dear friend, Cliff Hillis, who made me cry by covering a Trip Shakespeare song,” Miller said. “My husband Rob and I used to see that band when we were first married. Rob played a Trip Shakespeare song when he proposed and we used one of their songs in our wedding. It was very thoughtful of Cliff to do that. He and his wife, Beth Lennon, are the most caring people on earth.”
Miller said that everything came together because of the event host, Laura Keen.
“I’d never met her, but we instantly bonded. I feel like we’ve been friends our whole lives. She’s another angel on earth,” said Miller. “The whole event made me feel loved and hopeful. It’s easy to hate and be negative, but it takes strength to be gentle and kind. My boys and I were among true strength that night.”
Miller said proceeds raised will go towards medical bills from her husband’s three-year battle with brain cancer and her own treatments, both traditional chemo and alternative, for ovarian cancer, as well as the family’s living expenses.
For those who wish to donate to the Miller family can still do so by making a tax deductible contribution by mailing a check to Miller’s church with a notation on it. The address is 778 Sunnyside Ave. Audubon, PA 19403 (610)-631-2707