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Locally organized benefit for Sandy Hook Elementary a successPosted Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 9:48 PM
Paul Pete "Steam Train" Porter, a Bloomfield singer-songwriter with Axster Bingham Records and engineer with Triad Mining Company, is smiling today after a successful weekend benefit event to help the victims of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The benefit, organized by Porter and many of his music friends and staged at the Odon Tavern on Saturday night, featured the music talents of several bands from the Greene-Sullivan County area.
So far, more than $2,000 has been raised with the effort continuing.
Although there are no local connections to the victims or the school where the shooting took place, Porter said he was inspired to do something to help out from southern Indiana, located hundreds of miles from the tragic scene.
The evening kicked off with a special presentation by acoustic musician Franny Hall performing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" while a special memorial video was shown. A moment of silence for the 28 victims followed.
The Dec. 14 shooting rampage by 20-year-old Adam Lanza left 20 young students and eight adults dead, including the shooter.
The local benefit event included stage performances by Linton-based "King McQueen", "Notorious Betty" from the Sullivan area, "Chaos" -- a local all-star band -- and "Demolition", also from the Linton area.
Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader and Bloomfield native Sally Small also was a big hit for the evening -- posing for hundreds of photos with patrons, who donated $5 a snap for the photos.
Porter said there were many who made the event a success, including Bloomfield native Tracy Lady, who helped put the silent auction together, Jeff Wilson and Darrin Dant of Demolition who closed out the show and supplied the sounds and lights.
Ryan Irish of King McQueen also earned kudos from Porter for being the first band to commit and donate their talents for the benefit.
Porter also said Ted Query Security/Roadies help with the event and he said the whole crew at the Odon Tavern stepped up big-time.
"Without the greater Greene, Daviess and Sullivan county community this would have been impossible. Indiana University donated a large amount of items to auction and a lot of people that you would never see in a bar came out and supported the cause and enjoyed the music," Porter said. "Franny Hall opened show playing along the tribute video and set the tone for the event of brotherhood and love.
"I was a small part of this and it grew much bigger then me."
He called the event a success and said, "It was about doing something positive and a community coming together and we accomplished that.
"There are so many people to thank and without her (Tracy Lady) leadership, none of this happens."
Donations for this worthwhile cause are still being accepted and Lady is taking orders for special designed T-shirts.
Anyone wanting to donate to the relief fund can contact Lady by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (812) 709-0528.
All proceeds will go to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund. The school's PTA will administer the fund, which will provide counseling to survivors, pay for funeral expenses for victims, create a scholarship fund for the school's students, and fund a memorial, Porter said.
Great job to all involved in this very worthwhile cause. It also shows that you don't have to be directly involved in something to lend a helping hand. All who took part should be very of your efforts.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow Nick on Twitter @GCDWSchneider .
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