This post is a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about Drive 32, my school’s book drive for the recent Illinois tornado victims.
It is not really about being a reader; it is really about being a human being.
Last night I was a part of something amazing. More than 7500 people entered the U.S Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington for the sold-out Rock to the Rescue concert featuring Styx, REO Speedwagon, Survivor, Head East, Ted Nugent, Richard Marx, Larry the Cable Guy, and local band Brushfire. It was the biggest crowd I have ever seen at our Coliseum, and the most inspiring one.
In a little over two weeks after the devastating tornadoes, the performers planned, came together, and gave spectacular performances. The crowd sang along with almost every song, purchased all of the merchandise (t-shirts, hats, posters), and bought lots of raffle tickets to win one of three guitars autographed by every performer there. Often, band members would take time out to thank the crowd for attending and to say how excited and honored they were to be a part of the relief effort for their home state of Illinois. At one point, the spotlights settled on those people closest to the stage–people whose homes were destroyed or who were first responders, people who received free tickets to the show. They received a standing ovation from the crowd, many of whom had eyes filled with tears.
The best part? 100% of the proceeds will go to people in need. Every dollar of every ticket and t-shirt sold. All of it. Every single performer and crew member worked for free. And they were thrilled to do it.
The night concluded with all performers and many first responders on stage singing the Beatles’ “A Little Help from my Friends.” As the song ended they embraced each other, and the crowd left with uplifted spirits and a feeling that we were a part of something very special that night. A feeling that we had done something good, something kind, something human. A feeling that we had truly come to the rescue.