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Bon Jovi has headlined the first concert in a charity series to raise funds for lung cancer research.

The show was held at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Tuesday, February 12, to a capacity crowd of 3,500, with proceeds going to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering, a facility that specializes in lung cancer. The Center is also where Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora's father received treatment for the disease before his death last year.

“Cancer is relentless; you can’t stop it,” said Sambora, who opened the concert with a 30 minute set of solo material. “Hopefully this money will help find answers.”

The concert was organized by Stand Up For A Cure, and is expected to be the first of a yearlong series to benefit the cancer center. The organization hopes to pull together at least seven concerts in that time, and have already confirmed a stand-up performance from Jerry Seinfeld on June 2 at Madison Square Garden, a concert with Brian Wilson and special guests at the Hammerstein Ballroom on July 11, and a performance by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli set for a to-be-determined date in December.

Jordan Belkin, Executive Producer for Stand Up For A Cure, hopes the concert series will not only raise money for cancer research but also awareness for what he calls a “severely under-funded” disease.

“It’s the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in the world,” he told Billboard.com. “We need to get the message out and get money into the programs that are offering a potential cure for treatment. By groups like Bon Jovi donating their time and support to this cause, I think we’re getting closer to doing so.”

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