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Musician’s memory lives through Big Event

April 5, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

The Big Event is coming to the Main Street Theater, 5 North Main St., Columbiana, at 7 p.m. April 20. The event is an annual fundraiser to benefit the Nick Avery Scholarship.

Nick, a former Canfield resident, had always loved music. He enjoyed concerts, playing his guitar and decorating his room with band posters. His passion never wavered, but in 2005, he would have to leave the comfort of his music-inspired room for a stay at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

For five months, Nick and his mother Wendy moved to Memphis, while Nick was in treatment. Nick's father Steve, brother Josh and sister Alisha stayed at home in Canfield, visiting when they could make the trip.

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Nick Avery of Canfield loved his music. The young performer passed away in August of 2006, but his memory continues in the form of an annual scholarship that is funded from a Big Event.

In May 2006, Nick was able to return home. He had went into remission after his first round of chemotherapy and anticipation was high. Nick was again enjoying his music, but in July he experienced a relapse that put him back into St. Jude's. Four days after his return, on Aug. 25, 2006, Nick passed away.

The last entry in Nick's online journal was written the day he found out the cancer had returned. He wrote, "Life is goodI mean, I am still really scared and I have no clue what's going to happen, but I know that God has an awesome plan for me."

Part of that plan, according to Wendy, was the development of the "Nick Avery Role Model Scholarship" at Heartland Christian School. To fund the scholarship, a huge concert was held, something that Nick's mother said would have made him proud.

"We thought this would be a great way to celebrate Nick's life and at the same time raise money for the scholarship," Wendy said. "It is definitely something Nick would have loved."

This year's event marks the fifth year and concert for the scholarship that pays tribute to the Canfield teen who loved his music.

"Our event is simply called The Big Event," said Nick's sister Ashlee Brownlie, who serves as the concert promoter.

She said this year's event will feature Gotee Records recording artists House of Heroes with special guest artist Jay Michael. Brownlie said Michael had just released his sophomore studio album titled "Vices or Virtues," which includes the song "Hello, Hello" that was written for Nick, even though Michael never got the opportunity to personally meet him.

Tickets for the concert can be purchased in advance at Heartland Christian School or at Family Christian Bookstore in Boardman.



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