Jammin’ for Joplin
with Sellout and DJ Approach
- Saturday, July 2, 2011, 8 p.m.
- The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence
- Cost: $7
- Age limit: All ages
Most of us wish we could do more to help others, but it can be daunting to know where to start, or we tend believe we lack the skills or resources. One young woman thought exactly this when she heard about the devastating tornado that struck Joplin on May 22.
“It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon here in Lawrence and my kids and I only had thoughts of what we were going to have for dinner,” says Lindsey Frye. “I got home and logged on Twitter and my heart stopped. Growing up in Kansas, I had been around tornados my entire life, my thoughts went out to them for their safety, but I didn't realize until a bit later the immense size and scale of what I had just heard.
The EF-5 tornado, with wind speeds in excess of 210 miles per hour, cut a mile-wide, 13-mile long swath through populated neighborhoods, mowing down over 8,000 homes and apartment complexes, as much as one-third of all the housing in the city. Total damages could reach three-billion dollars with a death toll of 155 people, the eighth deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
“The people in Joplin had been struck with the unthinkable,” Frye says. “That night on Twitter and Facebook there was a frenzy of pages of messages of people trying to locate loved ones and letting people know they were okay.
Frye wanted to do something to help.
“As an unemployed, single mother my first thought was, ‘I really wish I could help these people,” says Frye.
“I really wish I could do more than text a $10 donation. I felt helpless. What did I have to offer? What could I possibly do for this town and its people?”
“Then a realization hit me. I am only one person, and so is everyone else, but combined we are a force. I thought, together, our town of Lawrence has the power and the heart to make a true difference. I emailed around to various venues finally securing a location for a benefit at the Bottleneck on July 2nd. So I had a place, but a place that needed to be filled with people, and music, and most importantly needed to be a success to help raise the money needed for Joplin to start over.
“On a whim I contacted Steve Ozark of the band Sellout. I personally had never heard of Sellout, though I have friends who enjoy them. When I got a response back from Steve almost immediately the first words out of his mouth were, ‘I talked to the band, they have to arrange personal plans for the Fourth of July weekend, but we want to help.’”
Frye contacted then contacted her friend DJ Approach to keep the party going for the evening. Since then, Frye has been reaching out to the local media, businesses and social networks to get the word out.
Jammin for Joplin takes place on Saturday, July 02 at the Bottleneck beginning at 8 p.m. 100% of the $7 entrance fee will be given to the tornado victims in Joplin, Mo. and Reading, Ks. through their local United Way offices. There will also be silent auction items including water park passes and donations taken for chances on 2 tickets to any home KU basketball game and Worlds of Fun Water Park Tickets. All ages are invited. Donations to those in need can be made out directly to The United Way and sent care of KLWN, 3125 West 6th, Street, 66049.
Growing from a desire, to an idea, to a plan, Jammin for Joplin hopes to help a lot of people. And it just goes to show what one person can do.
“My plea to the Lawrence community is this – yes, you are only one person, but together we are a people,” Frye says. “Together we can come together for one night to support a great cause. This event isn't about me or anyone involved, it's about Joplin. It's about seeing a need and doing all we can to meet that need. This event Jammin For Joplin is about community. That tornado could have been the tornado to destroy Lawrence, but it wasn't. Lawrence is as strong as it ever was and it we have the power to help our fellow neighbors become strong once again.”