Long-running Fundraising Event to Support Cancer Patients Returns with New Look

SummerLark concert in Bailey Park to feature musician Aloe Blacc

May 13, 2022

The 39th annual fundraiser to support cancer patients at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center will have a new look this year. 

Formerly known as Winterlark and typically held in February, this year’s SummerLark is underway with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and will end with a Saturday, June 4 concert in Bailey Park featuring musician Aloe Blacc. Gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets are now on sale.  

Country singer Alex Key, a Wilkes County native, will also kick off the event and perform in support of SummerLark. 

Throughout its history, the event has raised more than $6 million for Wake Forest Baptist’s Cancer Patient Support Program

“The support from our community year after year has been so incredible, and we are thrilled to share this event with an even wider audience at the concert in Bailey Park,” said Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, CEO of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, dean of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and chief academic officer of Atrium Health. “The funds raised through this event each year make a huge impact in the lives of the patients and families we serve.” 

The Cancer Patient Support Program provides counseling, patient education, support groups and other services free of charge to more than 35,000 patients and families each year at the Cancer Center. The program, which began in 1980, has been widely recognized as a best practices model for cancer centers nationwide. 

“Our dedicated team supports our patients and their loved ones throughout the journey of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship,” said Katie Duckworth, assistant professor of hematology and oncology at Wake Forest Baptist and director of the program. “The generosity of our community allows us to provide integrated behavioral health services in the hospital and outpatient clinic and offer educational programs and support groups to ensure we are meeting the needs of those we serve.”   

The funds raised through the event provide 50% of the program’s annual operating budget. Organizers hope to raise more than $400,000 through this year’s peer-to-peer campaign and concert. 

“For the past 38 years, this event has played a key role in sustaining our Cancer Patient Support Program,” said Lisa Marshall, Wake Forest Baptist’s chief philanthropy officer and vice president of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations. “We are very grateful to our sponsors and those who attend and volunteer each year, as this event provides a way to directly support our patients and the compassionate and healing work that is provided.” 

Allegacy Federal Credit Union – a longtime supporter and active sponsor of the event – is the presenting sponsor for the third straight year. Ashley and Matt Kohlrus and Sarah and Coleman Team are returning as co-chairs. 

More information about SummerLark can be found at giving.wakehealth.edu/summerlark.  

Media contact: Joe McCloskey, jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu