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Haden DeRoberts Memorial Rumpus and Benefit Show

Image courtesy of the Haden DeRoberts Memorial Rumpus and Benefit Show.

Haden DeRoberts touched countless lives in the far too short time he was alive. On Saturday, January 28, we’ve all been invited to celebrate and remember him at the Haden DeRoberts Memorial Rumpus and Benefit Show at Ace of Cups in Columbus.

Haden was 24 years-old when he passed away on December 4, 2016 after a five-year battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and subsequent complications.

He graduated from Grandview Heights High School in 2011, and worked tirelessly to earn his Bachelor of Specialized Studies from Ohio University. He was the curator of music festivals focused on bringing awareness to bone marrow donation registration and increased visibility to local bands. He interned at Love Hope Strength Foundation and Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, OH. He was a consummate supporter of the arts and the DIY music scene. [1]

Alexa Gainer and Mitch Rossiter are the driving force behind the benefit show on Saturday.

“He was my neighbor my freshman year at college (Ohio University),” said Alexa. “I had a couple of friends from OU and we all got together the day after we found out (he passed). People were saying we really need to do something to remember him; something he would love and really enjoy.

“So, I contacted Mitch and didn’t realize that they knew each other at OU.”

“Alexa and I knew each other separately from Haden and me knowing each other and Haden and Alexa knowing each other” Mitch continued. “I think the best way any of us could honor him was through putting on a big benefit memorial rumpus for a good buddy of ours.”where-the-wild-things-are

For those that are unaware of what a “rumpus” is, it comes from the book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, and was one of Haden’s favorite books.

He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia during his freshman year at Ohio University in October 2011. Folk Fest was one of the events that Haden was immersed in, featuring local and regional musical acts.

“He was dealt a pretty crappy hand but always had the best outlook on life,” said Mitch. “So, ‘Get Swabbed’ has always kind of been Haden’s motto. It takes 10 minutes (or less) to get your cheeks swabbed and fill out a form and be registered in the blood marrow donor registry (National Marrow Donor Program).”

The musical lineup for the benefit includes The High Definitions, The Cordial Sins, Blond and Fisher.

“We looked into bands that had played Folk Fest in the past,” Mitch said. “We picked four bands that were Folk Fest veterans and that we knew had close ties to Haden and he was friends with.

“I think we came up with a great lineup of local music to play and put on a great show.”

In addition to the music, there will be artwork available for purchase from local artists that have donated varied pieces of artwork to the benefit.

You will also have the opportunity to continue the legacy that Haden was so passionate about, as DKMS has donated swab kits for the benefit. Get swabbed. It’s quick, it’s easy and it could save someone’s life.

The profits from the benefit are being funneled into the newly founded Haden DeRoberts Fund. The fund then channels money into different charities that he has been part of. It was set-up by his family just prior to his passing.

This event is sponsored by CD 102.5 The Alternative Station.


Leukimia and Lymphoma Society

Love Hope Strength Foundation


“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” ~ Maurice Sendak



[1] excerpt from Haden DeRoberts’ obituary.

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