The community honored a local resident who lost their third battle with cancer Saturday afternoon in the 8th Annual ‘Remembering Sam Ford Benefit Concert.’
Samantha Ford passed away in May 2010 at the age of 24 after her third battle with cancer. In honor of Sam, her friends and family have started the annual Remembering Sam Ford fundraiser.
Proceeds go to a scholarship fund for dancers at The Studio of Performing Arts in Grover Beach, which was Sam’s childhood dance studio.
Sam’s family says she danced every day. Even when bone cancer took away her right leg, she was back dancing with her prosthetic leg in ‘record time.’
"I talked to her three days before she passed away and she was just, I’ll beat this thing, I’ll be fine. Sadly it took her life, but her legacy reminds us of a saying she always said – why walk through life when you can dance? So that’s what we live by today," said Nataly Lola, a friend of Samantha’s.
A portion of proceeds goes to the Pablove Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research.
The Branch Street Deli in Arroyo Grande hosted the benefit concert on their outdoor patio. Admission was free, with 10 percent of all food and drink sales going to the Sam Ford fund.
Musicians included Ghost/Monster and Mid-Life Crisis, along with a performance by students from The Studio of Performing Arts.