Piano major to perform benefit for sick friend

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    Fourteen-year-old junior Sam Hong met hairdresser Jack Garrison in 2005 when he visited Garrison’s hair salon on Camp Bowie Boulevard.

    Three years later, Hong is putting on a solo benefit concert for Garrison and his family after Garrison was recently diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which has forced him to leave work.

    “He is such a caring, sweet and kind man, and I know he needs help,” Hong said. “I am able to volunteer my time for a good cause, so I’m looking forward to it.”

    Hong, a piano performance major, said the concert will take place in Steinway Hall in Fort Worth because the owners offered to host the concert for free.

    Hong was born in Korea and has studied piano since age 3. He has played at 28 schools in the Fort Worth ISD through the Van Cliburn Foundation’s “Musical Awakenings” program. He has won many awards, including the UTA Concerto Competition and the TCU Concerto Competition and received honorable mention in the Lennox International Young Artists competition.

    Janna Garrison, Jack Garrison’s wife, said the salon has done many benefit events in the past, but she never thought their family would be the one on the receiving end.

    “When Jack met Sam he instantly felt a connection with him,” Janna Garrison said. “To see such a young man doing such great things and to be a part of that made Jack feel good.”

    The benefit will help the Garrison family with various expenses since Jack Garrison is the sole provider for the family, Janna Garrison said. She said it takes a lot of stress off him knowing that his friends are family are helping, and all he has to worry about is becoming cancer free.

    Jack Garrison has already gone through his first two chemotherapy treatments and has three more to go, said Kenneth Phillips, Garrison Moore Salon’s artistic director. He is weak, but the tumor is gone, Phillips said.

    “I have known Garrison for seven years,” Phillips said. “We are more than just co-workers. We are close friends, and I know he and his family are going through a hard time, and we as a staff are helping out as much as we can.”

    Cordila Owings, Hong’s guardian, said she hopes the benefit concert will encourage people to give back to the Garrison family and help them in their time of need.

    Benefit Concert for Jack Garrison

    When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

    Where: Steinway Hall Fort Worth, 3717 Camp Bowie Blvd.

    No ticket purchase is necessary, and all donations are tax-deductible.