Suffolk native plans benefit concert

Published 11:14 pm Friday, October 18, 2019

Davon Bagley is a Suffolk native who wanted to do something about the high rate of breast cancer in Suffolk, so he’s helping the best way he knows how: holding a gospel concert to honor survivors and raise money.

The resulting event, Hampton Roads Praise Fest, will happen this week.

“I’m from Suffolk originally,” Bagley said recently. “There has been a very high amount of young females I know personally that are coming down or dying from breast cancer. I wanted to figure out a way I could bring awareness to the situation the best way I knew how.”

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According to an analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, female breast cancer in Suffolk in 2014 occurred at a rate of 36.4 per 100,000 population — much higher than the 27.6 in Virginia or 25.9 across the nation.

The Oct. 25 event, hosted by Karlton Humes, will feature artists including Vashawn Mitchell, Jonathan Nelson and Le’Andria Johnson, all Grammy nominees. The event will also honor gospel music legend Richard Smallwood, whose music has been recorded by artists such as Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan.

Part of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Tidewater affiliated of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Bagley said. At the concert, they will also give away two $500 grants for medical wigs “to deserving people who are battling cancer right now” in a partnership with Gluxe Beauty Co., Bagley said. People hoping to receive a wig should send an email stating why they are deserving of the grant in 100 words or less to with the subject line “GRANT.” They do not have to be present to receive one of the grants.

In addition, a tribute to breast cancer survivors will be shown at the event. Anyone who is a breast cancer survivor should send their photo, name and number of years they have been a survivor to by Oct. 21.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Grove Church, 5910 W. Norfolk Road, Portsmouth. General admission is $30; tickets are available at

Call 650-8886 for more information.