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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

St. Elizabeth Cancer Center Dedicates Music Therapy Studio In Honor Of Two "Suits That Rock" Volunteers

Two musicians, dedicated to supporting the arts in Kentucky, passed away in 2017...but their legacy is living on at the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center's Music Therapy room. (Img: Provided // L to R: Sue Clare, Kevin Canafax, Melissa Singer-Reed)

Earlier this month, the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center in Edgewood, Kentucky announced the dedication of the first-ever Music Therapy Studio in honor of Charles "Chuck" Gordon Reed III and Donald E. Clare, Jr., two musicians dedicated to supporting the arts in Northern Kentucky. Chuck and Don, who both passed away in 2017, were longtime performers with Suits That Rock, a fundraiser for The Carnegie in Covington, KY that funds in-school, after-school, and summer camp art programming for local students.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Don and Chuck’s memory, their love of music and their service to our community through the Music Therapy Studio,” said Carri Chandler, Vice President of St. Elizabeth Foundation. “This studio exemplifies their lifelong passion for the arts and will serve as a resource for musical expression for patients and caregivers.”

Research shows people living with cancer who engage in creative arts therapy experience less depression and anxiety than those who don’t. Arts therapy provides a relaxing escape for patients and caregivers, who can embrace the creative process to express emotions. Developing this form of self-expression not only inspires personal growth, but also nurtures social interaction, which can relieve anxiety and enhance healing. 

For St. Elizabeth, this studio will bring music therapy to its inpatient and outpatient programs. The therapy will provide patients and their families with the options to play, listen to, or create music - providing emotional, sensory, and spiritual support. For more information on the Center’s approach to integrative oncology, take a virtual tour of the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center.

"During their combined 17-year tenure with Suits That Rock, Chuck and Don helped raise more than $1M for arts education programming,” said Kim Best, Executive Director of The Carnegie. “Subsequently, this helped The Carnegie’s art education programming to grow and serve more students each year. We are touched to know that Don and Chuck's memory will live on through the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center’s Music Therapy Studio."

Charles "Chuck" Gordon Reed III was the owner and president of River City Productions though family took center stage in Chuck's life. He began playing guitar at age 12 and later took up bass guitar at age 14 when his band's bass guitarist left the group. For more than 40 years he played with local and regional bands including Strange Brew, The Nightlife Band, and DV8, in which he shared the stage with his wife and fellow Suits That Rock volunteer, Melissa Singer-Reed.

"Music was such an important part of Chuck's life said his wife, Melissa. "When Chuck was approached to be a part of Suits That Rock, he was so excited to volunteer. Not only was he performing with his friends, but he had the opportunity to raise critical dollars for local arts programing through The Carnegie."

Donald E. Clare, Jr.,
a resident of Rabbit Hash, KY, built his career around helping others as an Emergency Room Nurse; 18 years at The Christ Hospital followed by 19 years at St. Elizabeth before retiring in 2015. Don wore many hats in the Northern Kentucky community. 

He devoted much of his life to music, writing, and the preservation of historic sites in Boone County. Don began singing and playing drums at the age of 16 and performed with a long list of bands over the years including Calico Rose and the Corryville Cowboys and The Buffalo Brothers. Don was on the board of directors of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society, a member of Friends of Big Bone, and an active supporter of the Dinsmore Homestead Foundation.

"In addition to all of his volunteer efforts, Don loved preforming with Suits That Rock - even though you would rarely catch him in a suit," said his wife, Sue Clare. "Don would want nothing more than to see his legacy of music live on in a place where he spent a majority of his time – St. Elizabeth."

To learn more about the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center, please visit

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