The 8th Annual Dara’s Defense F.U. Cancer Music Festival

This year’s event will be held on June 4th 2016. Mark you calendars! Live music, foodtrucks, beer, friends and family fun. Thank you all for your continued support as we further Dara’s mission of raising money for Ovarian Cancer causes while celebrating life, family and friends! Please join us. Tickets will go on sale in the Spring of 2016.

More details to follow.


Thanks everyone for helping make the 7th Annual another Spectacular Event!

Thanks to all the hardworking board members and committee chairs and volunteers!  This is Dara’s party and this is what she envisioned and what she wanted us to continue to grow.  It is soooo amazing year after year after year.  Thanks to everyone who came, veterans and first timers alike from far and wide!  Thanks to everyone who donated! Thanks to the amazing collection of musicians and all who gave their time and talents.  We ARE making a difference and having a ton of fun doing it… Celebrate Life, and LOVE!FUC-panoramaI love this photo.  Thanks Britt Dunning


JadeYoga and Dara’s Defense Kripalu Scholarship 2015

Wallingford, PA; March 23, 2015.   Dara’s Defense and JadeYoga are excited to announce the establishment of the Jade Kripalu Scholarship.

This scholarship is for a 3 day, 2 night R & R Retreat package for two to the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and will be awarded annually for at least the next three years to an ovarian or fallopian tube cancer patient and a friend or partner. The scholarship includes accommodations at Kripalu, Kripalu’s delicious all-natural meals, optional Kripalu faculty-led workshops and guided outdoor activities, daily yoga and noon dance classes, evening events and use of Kripalu amenities including sauna, fitness room, private lakefront beach, walking and hiking trails and more. A $500 travel stipend is also included.

Suzanne Simenhoff, President of Dara’s Defense and sister of Dara Barr (for whom Dara’s Defense was named) said: “Dara loved her time at Kripalu and believed that positive energy from within and without was an integral part of healing. Dara hoped that Dara’s Defense would be able to send others to Kripalu so they could experience those benefits too. We thank JadeYoga for endowing this scholarship to Kripalu to ensure that Dara’s vision will be realized.”

Dean Jerrehian, President of JadeYoga said: “Dara was a great friend and we are absolutely happy to be able to help.  Dara convinced us to make our Teal mat to raise funds for ovarian cancer in the first place, so it is definitely appropriate that some of the funds raised through Teal mat sales go to send ovarian cancer patients to Kripalu. We are very excited about this scholarship and hope whoever receives it enjoys Kripalu as much as Dara did.”

Applicants for this scholarship must have a diagnosis of fallopian tube or ovarian cancer; must supply a letter of interest detailing family status, address, phone number, email address, age (if under 21 must be traveling with parent or guardian) and how they heard about the scholarship; and must not have received any other direct grants from a nonprofit related to their diagnosis. The application must also include a letter from a medical professional with address, name, phone number, date of diagnosis, status of disease, years in treatment and current diagnosis.

Dara’s Defense is accepting applications for this scholarship for 2015 through May  1, 2015. The winner will be notified by email or telephone by May 15, 2015 and announced at the Dara’s Defense annual MusicFest on May 23, 2015.

Rules and Regulations kripalu scholarship rules 2015

Apply Here Kripalu Application Form 2015

About Dara’s Defense
Dara’s Defense is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which exists to provide support advocacy, education and support for women and children that are affected by ovarian cancer. Founded in 2006 through the efforts of Dara Barr and her friends and family, Dara’s Defense has been raising awareness about ovarian cancer through local fundraisers and the funding of various research programs. For more information, visit

About JadeYoga
JadeYoga, a division of Jade Industries, Inc has been making eco-friendly natural rubber yoga mats with unequaled non-slip performance and comfort since 2002. Jade mats are sold in the top independent yoga studios across the United States and around the world. Through its partnership with Trees for the Future, Jade plants a tree for every mat sold. For more information, visit

About Kripalu
Established in 1974, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is the largest yoga-based retreat center in North America. Kripalu offers more than 700 programs a year on topics related to yoga, holistic health, personal growth and spirituality, serving approximately 36,000 guests. Kripalu is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization founded on the teachings of Saraswati Chandra, Sri Kripalvanand (Swami Kripalu), (1913–1981), a yoga master renowned for his compassion and the depth of his spiritual practice. Kripalu’s mission is to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga. Kripalu is located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, less than three hours from Boston and New York City. More information is available at or 800.741.7353.

Contact: Suzanne Simenhoff

Dara’s Defense
P.O. Box 78
Swarthmore, PA 19081



Mark your calendars for

Saturday, 23 May 2015!

The 7th annual Dara’s Defense FUCancer Music Festival has been scheduled! 

Thank you ALL for your continued support of Dara’s mission to raise awareness and funding for Ovarian Cancer causes.  We are planning to do it all again this year!  But bigger and better and even more magical!  Same location! Same format! Same family fun for all! Please plan to join us again for foodtrucks, live music, beer, silent auction, kids activities and more!!  All contributions are tax deductible.

Tickets will go on sale in the Spring of 2015.
Watch your inboxes for more info.
Dara’s Defense is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization

Honoring a life of teaching and giving

January 13, 2013 | By Karen Heller

DaraTeacher Dara Simenhoff Barr died last week at 46.

If Dara Simenhoff Barr liked two people, she didn’t see why they shouldn’t also be friends with each other. She was a teacher and a connector, the sort of person who seemed to know everyone, and wove together a large, devoted community.

Raised in Swarthmore, a resident of Mount Airy, Dara taught for many years at Germantown Friends’ nursery school. Among her many students was my daughter. She tended to keep her students for life. Their parents, too. That’s what she loved about the little ones. You got the whole family.

Dara died Tuesday. She was 46.

She had been sick with ovarian cancer for much of the last six years. Like many people, Dara didn’t want illness and the shadow of death to define her. She wanted to be known for her three marvelous sons, her marriage, her teaching, her myriad passions and irrepressible zest.

But here’s the funny thing, and Dara loved the funny thing: She never hid her cancer and, along the way, taught a great many adults and children how it’s possible to thrive after being dealt the worst news imaginable.

“Her disease turned out to be an incredible gift in that it brought a whole community much closer together and taught us all to do a better job of living,” said Thomas Randall, a gynecologic oncologist and friend. “She made me a better doctor. I learned a lot about how to give people bad news and good news, to understand what patients were thinking about, how they felt going home after an office visit and waiting for the next one. I learned to do a better job of soliciting information.”

Randall was not the sole beneficiary of her teaching. Dara visited area medical schools and taught students to be more sensitive to the needs of patients.

She underwent three clinical trials, the last at the National Institutes of Health. Said her sister, Suzanne Simenhoff: “Dara wanted to find a cure, even if it wasn’t going to work for her, so it would help someone else.”

And she raised money for fellow patients and research through Dara’s Defense (, since 2009, more than $70,000.

Instead of a stuffy charity dinner with bad chicken, she hosted a joyous family music festival with superior beer, Dara’s Defender IPA. Noted musicians like John Wesley Harding played, as did Dara’s husband, Jeff, who does historic restoration and construction. Before her death, Dara and her board decided the show must go on. And so it will, June 1.

When she wasn’t feeling lousy, she traveled extensively, more than many healthy people. She loved camping, music, games, beading, beer. She beaded drinking beer at a favorite bar.

The nursery schoolteacher “was secretly competitive,” said friend Melissa Long. “She loved to win. She was a killer at board games.” In the last year of her short, joyous life, she took up mahjong with friends. She even hired a tutor. How many people with pernicious cancer do that?

Said Long, “When she was your friend, she was there to stay.” Dara believed devotedly in the long term. Her sister said, “There was nothing she was prouder of than her long-lasting marriage and her kids,” Matthew, 17; David, 13; and Elliot, 11.

Dara and Jeff were married for 20 years – but together for so much longer. They met in sixth grade when they were Elliot’s age.

Jeff was Dara’s only boyfriend.

“She did a really good job of managing that journey, maintaining a certain quality of life,” Randall said. “She gave people a sense of purpose to do something about the illness.” She made sure that the cancer and her charity “became much bigger than Dara.”

Along with her husband and sons, Dara leaves four siblings, Suzanne, Mark, and Ben Simenhoff, and Adrienne French; and seven nieces and nephews.

Dara’s funeral is at 3 p.m. today, Sunday, at Mishkan Shalom Synagogue. Her circle of friends is so large there will be a second service, a Quaker Meeting for Worship at 2 p.m. Jan. 20 at Germantown Friends Meetinghouse.

Dara, who wore a green wig to cheer her nephew at his bar mitzvah, asked that friends wear their “happiest colors.”

Contributions can be made to Friends of Dara Barr, 209 Dogwood Lane, Wallingford, Pa., 19086.

Dara’s contributions are too numerous to list.

Philadelphia Inquirer, January 13, 2013