Dove Award-winning artist to perform at March 22 fundraiser for Abigail’s Angels

Nearly a year and a half ago, Pastor Bobbyjon Bauman of Starkdale Presbyterian Church in Steubenville approached Lori Kinney about an idea for a fundraiser to help an 8-year-old pupil in his Sunday school class named Abigail Kinney, who has a rare eye condition called Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis.

LCA is a disease that causes the eye’s retina to slowly die. “They have identified the gene RDH12 as the cause, but thankfully there is hope,” Bauman said.

“Research is now under way for the development of a gene therapy treatment that will sustain or restore vision for many like Abigail. But since so few children have LCA, the families of the children have been raising funds to get research going in which human trials could begin as early as 2015, and time is of the essence since most children with LCA lose their sight in their early teens,” Bauman said.

“So funds are needed, and that is the genesis of how the idea to have three-time Dove Award winner Ginny Owens, who lost her eyesight at age 3 to a congenital eye disorder, came about,” he continued.

The concert will be held at 7 p.m. on March 22 at Starkdale Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $20 for artist circle; $10 for adults; and $5 for students in grades kindergarten through 12.

“One hundred percent of all of the money brought in through tickets and corporate sponsorships are going directly to fund research to find a cure,” Bauman said.

Lori Kinney, Abigail’s mother, also shared that she has “been overwhelmed” by the response so far over a number of corporations and individuals who have stepped up to be sponsors for the event. “It shows me that there are a lot of wonderful people out there, and I really appreciate all of their support for my daughter and the other children with LCA.”

More than 200 tickets already have been sold for the event, including nearly all the artist circle tickets.

“I would encourage people to purchase their tickets soon not only because it will be a wonderful concert, but primarily because it is for a great cause,” Bauman said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Center of Music and Art in Wintersville, on iTickets.com, at ww.starkdale.org or by calling Starkdale church at (740) 264-5309.