The outpouring of support relieved one of the biggest stresses in the Chown family's life. After getting his diagnosis in July, Chown and his wife Janet went from one struggle to another. They first tackled the fear that accompanies a cancer diagnosis.
Then, facing his own mortality, Chown had to make choices about how to treat his cancer.
"Frankly, I was scared to death," he said. "We just made our decision and I trusted in God. We just talked to God and our doctors."
It wasn't until after the surgery that the reality of weeks without work and a large insurance deductible hit the family. Chown estimates he lost about $6,000 in income from the weeks of recovery when he could not teach lessons and play gigs. And the bills from the surgery arrive every day, he said.
Chown is quick to mention ways he could help others who land in the same situation.
"You don't really realize what type of person a man is until you hear about it from other people," Lakritz said. "I feel wonderful that we were able to put this together to pay him back."
Organizers plan to set aside any leftover money to help the next person in the music community in Traverse City who falls ill and needs help paying bills.