The inaugural Bottoms Up Blues Bash on March 2 features The Bel Airs, Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts, and singer and songwriter Jean Marie Salem. The 7 p.m. event at the Val Air Ballroom, a collaboration of The Central Iowa Blues Society and, kicks off national colon cancer awareness month and raises funds to fight the disease and support colon cancer patients in communities across the state.

“Blue is the color associated with colon cancer awareness,” says David McCluskey, colon cancer survivor and founder of the Davids, a local nonprofit fighting colon cancer. “We’re using soulful blues music, music the comes from the heart, to raise funds to provide colonoscopies for Iowa’s uninsured and snow removal for chemotherapy patients enrolled in our Snow Angels program.”

Some 1,700 Iowans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. While it’s the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer in Iowa and the second leading cancer killer in the state, colorectal cancer is 90 percent preventable with proper screening.

During David McCluskey’s nine-month cancer battle in 2007 he was inspired by the strength and positive spirit of colon cancer patient David Kinman, who survived two years beyond his diagnosis, but died at age 37. Thus, Davids Fight reflects the disease’s impact on both men. McCluskey is the organizer of central Iowa’s annual Get You Rear in Gear run/walk, set for August 24 this year. For more information visit or

Tickets for the Bottoms Up Blues Bash are on sale for $20 prior to the show and $25 on March 2, children 12 and under FREE, at the Val Air Ballroom (301 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines) or through