, Port Arthur, Texas

December 10, 2006

Local band ‘pays it forward’

By Ashley Sanders

The News staff writer

When Cecil and Joann Chance lost their home in a blaze last month, the couple lost more than material wealth — they lost precious memories.

During WWII the Chance’s wrote countless letters to each other reinforcing their love for one another. The letters were something the couple continued to cherish even 60 years after the war ended.

Unfortunately, the fire that consumed their home on Nov. 22 also destroyed the love letters from their youth.

Hearing that Cecil, 81, and Joann, 82, were going through such a difficult time, the Randy Balsano Band decided they would do something to “pay it forward.”

“We try to do something nice for someone every year,” Randy Balsano, guitarist and lead vocals for the band, said. “We are going to donate the proceeds from this month to the Chance family.”

A benefit concert for the couple is set for 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. this Friday at Arthur’s Pub, 3801 Hwy. 73. Balsano and his band will headline the Pay It Forward Party and they ask that those who attend bring donated items or money to give to the Chance family this holiday season.

“It’s good that we can do our part to help someone so deserving of help,” David Barton, bass player and singer for the band, said. “We sometimes get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we forget to look at the needs of others. So, this is something nice we can do to give back.”

Fred Nepveaux, the band’s drummer, said he hopes to see a lot of faces at Friday’s concert.

Tickets are $5 at the door and all proceeds will go directly to the Chance family. Balsano said he is not aware of the Chance’s needs, but that any donated good will be given to the family.

Toys will also be accepted at the concert and distributed to children in the area who might otherwise not receive any gifts this Christmas.

For more information on Friday’s show or to find out more about how to help the Chance family, e-mail Balsano at