Giving A Theme at “Concert for Haiti”

Published : Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010, 9:42 PM CST

APPLETON – As people in Haiti continue their struggle to survive after the devastating quake, people in Northeast Wisconsin are coming together for a special relief concert. On Wednesday, Lawrence University hosted the “Concert for Haiti” at the school’s Memorial Chapel.

In the midst of desperation music can offer hope. The “Concert for Haiti” did even more, lifting spirits while raising funds for a disaster even the Red Cross struggles to describe.

“There are immediate needs, food, shelter, water, medical supplies, search and rescue, things that people need right away to survive,” Barbara Behling with the Red Cross said. “In the coming weeks those needs will expand.”

Behling says money donated at the concert will help fund Red Cross relief efforts, as well as benefit a now-destroyed music school Lawrence University has worked closely with for years.

Behling says the response of donors and volunteers has been enormous. She says the deployment to Haiti has been the largest one-country response in Red Cross History.

“To put that into context, it is larger than the 2004 tsunami in which we were serving 14 countries,” Behling said. “So, this one small country is receiving a lot of resources, man power, supplies.”

All desperately needed. Lawrence students organized the benefit concert, which featured past and present student musicians, a world-renowned cellist, the Milwaukee Lutheran High School choir and guitarist Jeremiah Nelson among others.

“It’s like a call to arms, it’s cool to see everyone jump and pitch in,” Nelson said.

He wanted his performance to strike a hopeful tone and a call to give. As concert goers streamed in for the 7p.m. performance, it seemed generosity was on the program.

In addition to donations for the Red Cross, Lawrence is collecting music and instruments for the music school they hope to one day help rebuild.

“I think it’s very important and I’m kind of proud at how the attendance at this is and how everybody is donating money,” Samantha Brockman of Kaukauna said.

She says one person can make a difference, bringing hope and healing along with a song.

You can watch a 30 minute special on the “Concert for Haiti” on FOX 11 Thursday night. It begins at 9:30.

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