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Benefit Planned To Aid Heart Patient

OSWEGO, NY – On Sept. 27, at 7 p.m., there will be a benefit concert for Kenneth Whitney (husband of Kathleen Whitney) who is awaiting a heart transplant.

Ken has had six or seven heart attacks and two triple bypasses, according to Kathy Nyman.

Nyman and other family friends are spearheading the concert fund-raiser to help the Whitneys keep up with their medical bills.

Kathleen is a cardiac rehab nurse with Oswego Hospital, but works part-time.

As a part-time employee, she doesn’t have sick or vacation time, Nyman noted.

“She is the primary bread winner since Ken has been on disability for number of years. This summer, Ken received a LVAD – a Left ventricle artificial devise – which basically is an external pump,” she said. “He was at Strong Memorial Hospital where the surgery took place. He had to have someone with him 24/7 for 8 weeks at least. Kath took a family leave of absence. Unfortunately Ken has had a couple of setbacks which has meant returning to the hospital 3-4 times for extended visits.”

Recently, friends hosted a golf tournament at Griffins Greens and a chicken barbecue at the Elks along with a silent auction, according to Nyman.

“It was a very successful day,” she added.

They also had a spice sale, “ordering spices from a wholesale co-op and sorted them out ourselves,” she added.

“Our next event is this concert. That event will be 100% profit since we are using the Hall Newman Center for the event,” she said.

Stephen Lavonier, Kathleen’s son, and Kaitlyn Lewis will be traveling from NYC to perform.

Stephen is a 1997 graduate of Oswego High School.

The program will include music from Vaughn-Williams The Songs of Travel and arias and duets from operas by Mozart, Rossini, Gilbert and Sullivan and Puccini.

Stephen, a baritone, is a graduate of Hart School of Music and earned his masters at SUNY Purchase.

Most recently, he was Benoit/Slcindoro in La Boheme at the
Opera Company of Middlebury in Vermont.

Kaitlin, a soprano, is a graduate of SUNY Purchase where she performed the roles of Poppea in L’Incoronazione de Poppea, the Countess in Le Nozze de Figaro and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors.

The concert will be at the Hall Newman Center, New Street, near the SUNY Oswego campus.

Tickets are $5 pre-sale or $6 at the door.

Reservations can be made by contacting Kathy Nyman at 342-1947 or [email protected]

Refreshments will be served.