BUNKER HILL - The “Headstrong Countryboy" fundraiser, a large fundraising event featuring 11 bands, raffles, auctions, and more will be held at the American Legion Partridge Post 578 at 319 Marion Street in Bunker Hill on March 25 from noon to 9 p.m. The proceeds will benefit David Zimmerman, who is battling frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the same type that actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with.

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Stephanie and David Zimmerman at the Riverbender Building for their appearance on Our Daily Show!

David and Stephanie Zimmerman recently appeared on an episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com to discuss the fundraiser and its purpose. Stephanie said the event not only aims to spread awareness about the disease, but also the ways music can benefit those with FTD and similar brain diseases.

“With this disease, it affects his ability to find his words and speak,” Stephanie said. “But with music, it’s not affected that part of his brain with music and dancing … the lyrics, he can sing in full sentences, even having this disease where he normally doesn’t speak that much with it.”

There will be plenty of music at the fundraiser, with doors opening at 11 a.m. and the following 11 bands starting at noon:

  • City Heat
  • CPRT
  • The Jupiter Kings
  • Where’s Dave?
  • Jake & Erik
  • Gabie
  • Backyard Blues Band
  • Michelle
  • Borderline
  • Doppelgänger
  • The Whiskey River Band

There will also be two gun raffles at the event, which Stephanie said includes one for a .22 rifle and one for a slug barrel shotgun. There will also be a live auction, a silent auction, raffle baskets, a bake sale, a booze wagon, a booze cooler, a wine and whiskey raffle pull, and Gvillo’s Pulled pork.

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Stephanie added that she and David have long participated in other benefits around the community and hope this one can raise awareness and help others with FTD.

“We’ve always been into cancer benefits and helping others … but now with this, we want to promote awareness. This FTD is a cruel and horrible disease, and many people are walking around with it right now and they’ve been misdiagnosed with this.

“We know that there’s no cure - there’s no medicine that they can do for them. It can be hereditary, there’s a 1 in 2 chance. So I am going to fight to help as many people as I can with the healthcare, with understanding that you have to push for results and try to get in,” she said, adding that it often takes six months to a year just to get a visit with a neurologist.

She added that Bruce Willis sharing his diagnosis and journey with FTD has made it easier for her and David to tell their story.

“If it weren’t for [Bruce Willis], people honestly would not know about this,” Stephanie said. “When Bruce Willis came out, it makes it a lot easier when we go places to just explain to them that he has FTD same as Bruce Willis and their eyes perk up, like ‘I was just reading about that.’”

To find out more about this event, see the event on Facebook or visit the Headstrong Countryboy Facebook page. The full interview with David and Stephanie is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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