Archive for Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rain dampens attendance, but not spirit, at Love from Lawrence benefit

October 23, 2005


Rain cut short what was planned as a daylong series of benefit concerts to raise money for local and national disaster victims.

But cool weather and overcast skies didn't stop people from going to South Park Saturday afternoon to listen to music and make donations.

"People can come down here to make donations and also have a good time," said Gi Yoon, as he stood near a table where children were getting their faces painted.

Yoon, of Lawrence, was drawn to the park while walking in the area with his 5-year-old son, Seokmin. Then he realized he was at a benefit fundraiser, billed as Love from Lawrence.

The benefit featured daylong performances by eight bands, children's games and other activities, a bake sale, food vendors and a beer garden. Monetary donations go to the American Red Cross and will be divided among hurricane relief efforts and local relief efforts for victims of the Boardwalk Apartments fire and other recent fires. People also contributed nonperishable food items intended for Lawrence food pantries.

The benefit began at 10 a.m., and by the time rain started falling about 3 p.m. several hundred people had come and gone, said Karin Drees, one of several to plan the event with help from businesses and organizations.

"We were going along pretty well," Drees said. "The musicians were having a good time and there were a lot of people here, and then the rain came. Kids were going to the moonwalk because it was covered, and the beer garden suddenly became real popular because it had a canopy."

Allen Sarren, Lawrence, left, and Maura Hellyer, Lawrence, right, dance during the Love from Lawrence concert. The Saturday benefit featured live music, pony rides and food vendors at South Park.

Allen Sarren, Lawrence, left, and Maura Hellyer, Lawrence, right, dance during the Love from Lawrence concert. The Saturday benefit featured live music, pony rides and food vendors at South Park.

Nevertheless, Drees said she was pleased with the event, which raised about $1,000 as well as 800 pounds of canned food

"A lot of people had said they wanted to help victims but they didn't know how to do it," Drees said.

The musicians played for free.

"It's for a good cause," said Arnie Johnson, leader of the band Midnight Special. "We can never really do enough to help these people. It's hard to get volunteers to do something like this. I love playing, and my band does, too."

Dan Ward was another attendee who was unaware of the benefit until he and his 3-year-old daughter, Katy, passed by while driving downtown. Later that afternoon he stood next to the castle-shaped moonwalk while Katy jumped around inside.

"Once my kid saw the 'bouncing castle,' we had to stop," he said.


Richard Heckler 12 years, 7 months ago

Italian Princess...Thanks for being on the planet. Folks down south will need more help according to the stories below. Lawrence is fortunate to have an Italian Princess cuz the Katrina folks are going to need one on every corner until politicians come to their senses.

Report: Post-Katrina Reconstruction Slow, Ineffective The Bush administration's approach to post-Katrina reconstruction has been slow, ineffective, and partly influenced by major conservative opposition to aid spending. This according to the Los Angeles Times. Of the three major proposals outlined in President Bush's prime-time speech from New Orleans in September, only one has been put before Congress. The lone proposal to reach the floor -- $5,000 dollar accounts for unemployed workers - would only provide aid for fewer than a quarter of those left jobless by the disaster, the paper says. The slow pace is drawing the ire of even some Congressional Republicans. Republican Senator Judd Gregg said the Bush administration's approach risks: "confusion, inefficiency and huge bureaucratic frustration." Gregg co-sponsored a bill along with Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy for the creation of a cabinet-level Gulf Coast-recovery agency. The White House rejected the proposal.

Influential Congressional Republican Group Opposed Aid Spending In his September 15th address, Bush promised "one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen." But as of last Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had obligated only $15 billion out of $60 billion in available emergency funds. Meanwhile, administration officials are preparing another emergency spending bill for $20 billion dollars, much of it for rebuilding military bases and a NASA facility. The Times reports the administration's inaction is at least partly shaped by pressure from powerful Republicans. The committee's chairman, Republican congressman Mike Pence told the Times QUOTE: "We saw the White House engaging in an aggressive, multifront drive to rebuild the Gulf Coast, and we thought we ought to bring up the small matter of the bill." Last month, the committee circulated a list of proposals for Katrina recovery that included providing vouchers for private schools and making affected areas a "flat-tax free enterprise zone."

avhjmlk 12 years, 7 months ago

IP-Way to go! Sounds like it was a huge success.

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