By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Niki Feezle was alive for just 24 years, but she packed a lot of life into that time.
The Enon Valley, Pa., woman died July 11, 2010, of cystic fibrosis. But she was a firecracker right up until the end.
Her parents, Jeff and Jamie Feezle, owners of F&V Fireworks in Enon Valley, are using the one-year anniversary of Niki’s death to honor her memory with a weekend-long concert. Niki worked in the family business.
They have started the Niki Feezle CF Explosion of Hope Foundation to raise money to fight the debilitating lung disease, which affects 30,000 Americans.
The Explosion of Hope Concert will be July 8 and 9 at Buffalo Hollow in Petersburg, with headliners The Charlie Daniels Band and Blackhawk.
Jason Pancake, the senior minister of Lakemont Church of Christ in New Waterford, became close friends with the Feezles during the latter months of Niki’s life. “I was there in the room when she passed,” he said. “When you go through something like that, you form a bond.”
The Feezles approached Pancake eight months ago and put in motion a plan to form a foundation and put on the concert. Pancake enlisted a congregation member to book the show.
“Niki was a huge music fan,” said Pancake, who also said she was a fighter. “This young lady was full of life and just didn’t quit. I saw her at a wedding a few weeks before she died and I could tell by her color that she was sick. I said, ‘You belong home in bed, and I’m taking you their now.’ She replied, ‘You do and I’ll fill your pockets with firecrackers and light them.’”
Besides the Chalie Daniels Band (“The Devil Went Down to Georgia”), the concert lineup includes Tammy Cochran, who wrote a song about her sister, who also died of cystic fibrosis. Also performing will be Vanessa Campagna, of whom Niki was a fan.
Tickets are $41 for both days, and $35 for one day; go to ticketweb.com. Tickets will be available at the gate if any remain. Camping is available at $15 per night (in addition to the ticket price).
For more information about the Niki Feezle Foundation, go to nikifeezlefoundation.com.