Local Floral Designer Wants Charleston to “Get Loud” to Save Lives at 8th Annual Lip Sync for Lungs on February 29

American Lung Association’s one-of-a-kind fundraiser returns to Charleston Music Hall

Lori DeNicola, owner of floral design studio Petaloso, is inviting the Charleston community to travel back in time with the American Lung Association in South Carolina. The Lip Sync for Lungs Live Battle VIII: Totally ‘80s, presented by Audi Charleston, will feature five local celebrity fundraisers performing original lip sync and dance routines at the Charleston Music Hall on Thursday, February 29.

“Lip Sync for Lungs supports local health programs, lung disease research and advocacy efforts in South Carolina and beyond,” said DeNicola, four-time event chair for Lip Sync for Lungs. “So, tease up your hair, don your brightest neon and prepare to get loud!”  

DeNicola began volunteering with the Lung Association fifteen years ago, after she lost her father to a pulmonary embolism following his battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Learn more about DeNicola’s mission to achieve “clean air and healthy, happy lungs for all.”

Lori DeNicola, owner and lead designer, Petaloso; event chair, Lip Sync for Lungs; currently serves on the South Carolina and Southeast Regional Leadership Boards of the American Lung Association

Q. Hi, Lori! Let’s just dive right in. How pumped are you for this year’s Lip Sync?

A. It’s impossible to tell you how much I love this event. It’s simply the most fun “fun’draiser” in town! We’re so excited for our community to come out to support clean air initiatives and healthy, happy lungs while having a blast. I’m also a child of the ‘80s, so Live Battle VIII feels extra special. I’ll be reliving my favorite bops from the era.

I’ve been so fortunate to Chair this event for four years. (I just won’t leave, I know!) I’ve loved all aspects of my work with the Lung Association, but the lead up to Lip Sync for Lungs is my favorite. It’s like Christmas and my birthday month rolled into one! This event gives me so much purpose.

It’s been incredible to watch Lip Sync evolve into the huge production it is today. It’s gotten even more grand and off-the-wall. It’s an honor to be even a small part of the event co-founders’ creative genius. Co-founders Geoff Richardson, Michele Seekings and Margaret Ann Youngs really bottled lightning with this event.

Q. What has been your favorite Lip Sync moment?

A. Come on, that’s like asking me which of my two dog children is my favorite! Some stand out moments…

The thrill of playing Cher on stage for Live Battle II in October 2017. My Pops loved both dancing and Cher. I just know he was with me on stage that night, mostly because I never would have made it through without a broken ankle in those boots without some kind of guardian angel guidance, ha!

And last year, my friends, Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer and Drew Pond, broke the record for highest fundraisers, at nearly $50,000. That was a “good chills” moment.

I’m manifesting my next favorite moment. We’re closing in on $1 million total funds raised through this event since Lip Sync for Lungs’ inception in January 2017. I’m determined to hit this goal! Think of all the great work we’ve funded, and will continue to fund, from this one event! Every time I get a donation for Lip Sync, my heart skips a beat a little. It’s such a true life high!

Q. You’ve been involved with the American Lung Association for 15 years and have worn so many hats. Can you tell us more about your journey with us? What’s been driving you?

A. Honestly, the American Lung Association has become my extended, chosen family. I started volunteering roughly 15 years ago, right after my Pops passed from a pulmonary embolism. He had Stage 4 COPD. They initially gave him six months to live, but he ended up living another two years, spending time in and out of the VA hospital. Each time we weren’t sure if he’d be returning with us. It was such a struggle.

I was 24 when we lost him. Shortly after, I met the Katrina Taylor and Rebecca Balitsaris with the American Lung Association in SC. I thought, here are these two incredible women at an organization that was doing so much good for a cause that really penetrated my heart—clean air and happy, healthy lungs for all.

While my father continues to be my driving force in my involvement, I am fighting for my friends who struggle to breathe. One of my best friends and her siblings have terrible asthma. I have friends with kiddos who struggle to breathe, and it breaks my heart. I want to do anything and everything I can to help them with getting the medications they need. I fully believe that inhalers and any form of breath assistance should be free to all. No one should struggle to breathe, especially when there are medications out there to assist.

Q. What would you say to someone who has never been to the event before?

A. Open your heart and join our community! Expect deep belly laughs, happy tears and an unforgettable night—all for a fabulous cause. Together we can make a difference! Because let’s be real, “when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

Q. Thank you, Lori! You can support happy, healthy lungs by purchasing a ticket or donating here.

The performer lineup for Lip Sync for Lungs Live Battle VIII: Totally ‘80s! features:

  • Geoff Richardson – Owner of Lava Salon and co-founder and six-time emcee of Lip Sync for Lungs
  • LaFaye Benton – U.S. Army vet and frontwoman of Rock-Soul band, LaFaye & the Fellas
  • Erin Lok – Stand-up comedian and Second City alumna
  • Anna Krepelka – Owner of Charleston Lash & Brows and event record spinner at “Soul 45s With Anna”
  • Julianne “JuJu” Taylor – Owner of Julianne Taylor Style and business coach, product designer and content creator

The American Lung Association’s Lip Sync for Lungs Live Battle VIII: Totally ‘80s!, presented by Audi Charleston, will be held on February 29 at Charleston Music Hall. To purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit LipSyncForLungs.org. For sponsorship opportunities, please email [email protected].

For more information, contact:

Victoria O'Neill
(312) 273-5890
[email protected]

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