A local benefit scheduled for Saturday to benefit a tragedy that struck the nation has brought the community together.
The Sandy Hook Elementary Victim's Relief Fund Benefit Concert will take place at the Odon Tavern starting at 7 p.m., with a line up of several local bands and special guest by Colts' cheerleader, and Bloomfield graduate, Sally Small.
The event is open to anyone over 21, and is no cover charge. Funds will be raised through T-shirt sales and a silent auction.
Organizer Paul Peter Porter said the idea for a small benefit came to him just days after the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of 20 young students and six adults in Newtown, Conn.
"I first thought of this five days after the tragedy, on the morning of Dec. 19 to put a small benefit together, and I can't believe how much it has grown," Porter said.
He rallied several of his musician friends to put on the benefit, and added when Tracy Lady began helping with the benefit it grew exponentially.
"This is really a greater Greene County community effort. Businesses have been donating from Linton to Odon to Bloomfield to Indiana University. Everybody has been so cooperative with this effort. ... As a community, we are all coming together to do this. I'm really fired up about how everybody has come on board, and wants to help in some way," Porter stressed.
Silent auction items will include items from Whimsey's Whimsical in Linton, four $25 gift cards from CVS in Bloomfield and Subway donated cookies to sell.
"Last night, Tracy told me we had over 50 items for the auction, and based on their actual price that is over $3,000 worth of items," Porter said.
Porter said Bethel's Barber Shop in Bloomfield made a monetary donation towards start-up costs of the event, and will be placing a donation jar in the shop.
Along with the auction, Sally Small will be at the event taking photos with patrons for a $5 donation.
"Sally Jo said she is available from 7 to 9 p.m., but will remain longer if we have the demand," Lady said. "She will be there with promotional posters and other items to hand out. We also have some Colts ornaments that she has agreed to autograph for the auction and you can have your picture taken with her for a $5 donation, and that includes a 5-by-7-inch picture, and you can order extra photos for an additional cost in a variety of sizes."
Porter stressed without the help of the bands, the event would not be possible and help draw a crowd to the Odon Tavern.
The evening will kick off with a special presentation by acoustic musician Franny Hall performing alongside a video put together by Lady.
"I will give a brief monologue of the tragedy from that morning and begin the memorial video, which is on our Facebook page now, that will have an acoustic accompaniment by Franny Hall, who will be performing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World." This will be followed by a moment of silence for the victims," Lady explained.
The event will also include 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.
"Chaos is an all-star band. John Giles of Addiction wanted to play, but his guitar player couldn't make it, so he recruited Jim Snail, Wikker Elefant's guitar player," Porter said.
Porter added with a laugh, "Without the bands you've got me with my guitar and my lousy voice, and no one wants that."
Lady said she has been in contact with the organizers of the relief fund, and she has a conference call scheduled for next week to discuss sending their donation.
"All profits will benefit the Newtown Memorial Fund www.newtownmemorialfund.org and the Sandy Hook Elementary Victim's Fund in care of the PTSA Sandy Hook, Conn.," Lady said.
Anyone wanting to donate to the relief fund, can contact Porter by calling (812) 227-0761 or Lady by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (812) 709-0528.
Porter said he could not have organized the event without the help of the communities, and is still in shock at the incredible response.
"The bands all came on board, then (Greene County Daily World Assistant Editor) Nick (Schneider) wrote the story, and this thing has just exploded ... The response has been phenomenal -- beyond my wildest dreams. I keep pinching myself that any of this is happening. The response has been so wonderful. Tracy is the driving force behind this, and she is great team leader," Porter stressed.