MILLINOCKET, Maine — Whether you are a Juilliard School graduate or a neophyte musician, Doug Boutaugh will welcome you.
A lifelong guitarist and singer perhaps best known for playing in the TelStars, a local wedding and bar band, the 62-year-old Millinocket resident will be the guest of honor at a plug-and-play benefit at 6 p.m. Friday at Donald V. Henry American Legion Post 80.
A Vietnam War-era U.S. Navy veteran and Legionnaire, Boutaugh suffers from a rare form of cancer. The benefit will help defray his medical costs, which include chemotherapy treatments at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, according to his daughter, 41-year-old Dawn Boyington of Millinocket.
“I have never experienced so much kindness and generosity like these people have shown my dad. I can’t begin to thank them enough,” Boyington said of the Legion’s members.
“Right now he is doing pretty good, but there is no cure. We know that, so they are looking at, if things go well, [him living] at least five to 10 years. But that can change,” she said.
Mantle cell lymphoma is a form of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can spread into bone marrow, the liver and the gastrointestinal tract, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Mantle cell cases represent about 6 percent of the 66,360 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma reported annually in the U.S.
Anyone age 21 or older is invited to play at the event or just listen, Jessica Pelkey, an organizer of several legion benefits, said. Donations are welcome at the event, which will include food and drink donated by club members.
“Normally we do [benefit] dinners, but that is not who Dougie is. He is a lifelong musician. I really think he is going to enjoy himself,” she said.