The family of a 4-year-old cancer patient hospitalized since Dec. 7 is benefiting from the generosity of the community, which has sponsored bake sales and other projects to help pay for Mitchel McKee's medical treatments.
The campaign took an unusual twist when students at San Clemente High School decked the school's Triton Center with disco lights and donned bell-bottomed trousers for Air Guitar '96.
The benefit concert, which featured students and teachers in costume lip-syncing songs from the 1970s, drew a standing-room-only crowd for two weekend shows.
Social studies teacher Joe Moros came up with the idea for the concert. He pitched it to Associated Student Body leaders, who saw it as a chance not only to help the McKee family but also to send a message to the community.
"Everyone has such a bad opinion of teenagers," said Anne Walls, a 16-year-old junior who was chairman for the fund-raiser. "Hopefully they will see we can do good things too."
Earlier benefits raised about $8,000 for the McKee family. The weekend event's organizers estimated Tuesday that they cleared about $4,000 for the fund.
Mitchel has been at Children's Hospital of Orange County since late last year, when he was diagnosed with a form of cancer known as neuroblastoma. Since then he has had surgery twice.
Contributions: Mitchel McKee Fund, First Interstate Bank, 201 Avenida del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672. Information: (714) 492-5123.