Hundreds party at Kemopalooza to help kids fight cancer

Allen Wallace photos.

The Senate was packed Friday night, with music pumping and more than 500 people dancing and singing along, but this was no ordinary concert or party.

The crowd came out for the 11th annual Kemopalooza, a Prisma Health Midlands Foundation fundraising event benefiting Camp KEMO Programs of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital—Midlands (formerly Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital).

2019 is the 40th year of the Camp KEMO programs, which include not only the standard summer camp experience for children fighting cancer and blood disorders, but also a range of additional services.

“There are special programs for teenagers, special programs for just the parents,” said Ashley Dusenbury, assistant vice president, public relations for Prisma Health Midlands Foundation. “It’s a really well-rounded group of programs to help not only the patients but also the families.”

Several of those families attended Friday’s event, getting a chance to enjoy a night out and experience the love of their community.

“It kind of comes full circle for them, because they get to meet a lot of the supporters who’ve helped their children,” Dusenbury said.

Kemopalooza guests enjoyed live music from Jeff Lucero and Finesse, along with food from Shealy’s BBQ. A silent auction featured signed sports memorabilia, a Yurman bracelet, a pair of tickets to see Ariana Grande in Charlotte and guitars signed by James Taylor and Chris Stapleton.

Richland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Addy Perez attended and took part in a live auction of a Live PD Ride Along experience, donated by her department, which raised $1,050.

Final fundraising totals were not immediately available, but Dusenbury said the event was expected to bring in more than $100,000, funding the bottom line Camp KEMO programs for the year.

More information on the Camp KEMO programs is available at

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County