Local youth raise $2,500 to benefit Moore, Okla.
By ANGIE HAFLICH
A group of Garden City youth hosted a benefit concert Thursday night at Stevens Park to help Moore, Okla., residents recover from the tornado that devastated much of the community on May 20.
The local youth will be delivering the proceeds to the hard-hit community this weekend and will be volunteering to help with cleanup.
Kelsey Steward, 20, and her younger sister, Megan Steward, a senior-to-be at Garden City High School, came up with the idea to host the concert as a means of raising money for Moore. About three weeks ago, with the help of 17-year-old Haley Regan, they coordinated the event, "Give More for Moore."
"I just sent out a mass text to all of my friends to get some interested people to go," Steward said. "We're going down there at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) morning. So we'll work tomorrow afternoon and all day Saturday, and then come back Sunday."
Joining Kelsey Steward and Regan are Garden City High School students Megan Steward, Jeff Bogner, Austin Lubbers, as well as 2013 GCHS graduate Joey Arellano and 2012 GCHS graduate Mattie Silva, all of whom are juniors and seniors at Garden City High School.
Steward said she doesn't know what type of work they will be doing yet.
"There's a big volunteer headquarters in Moore, and volunteers check in there every day, so we'll probably just check in there and see what they have for us," Steward said.
She said that the idea came to her and her sister as they were coming back to Garden City from a road trip to Shawnee, Okla.
"Shawnee was hit by a tornado, and we saw that destruction, which is tiny compared to Moore. Then we were in that long car ride back from Oklahoma and started thinking about it," Steward said.
The acts Thursday included Esteban Gonzales, Band of Bad Brothers, Haley Regan, Diego Esquivel, Joey Arellano, From Lions to Lambs and Gary Harley.
"I think this is a very good idea. People love music, and music is good for the soul," Angie Dunsworth, Garden City, said of the benefit concert.
Dunsworth, along with her husband, Jim, were on hand to see Esteban Gonzales.
"Esteban is a really good friend of our daughter's. He was her boyfriend, and he has something special for her," Angie Dunsworth said.
Their daughter, Miranda Dunsworth, died one year ago on June 21, 2012.
"He wanted us here, and he said don't be late," Dunsworth said.
The concert kicked of at 6 p.m. and as each act played, people voted for their favorite act by donating money to their respective jars.
"The jars for the voting raised about $1,320," Regan said. "The winner was TyRae Carr. He's a rapper. Second place was From Lions to Lambs, and third place was Emily Herrada."
The Garden City High School FFA club also provided concessions, and there were drawings for prizes donated by downtown businesses.
"We had a $100 gift card from Little Britches, we have $50 from Baker Boot, $50 from Patrick Dugan's and lots of downtown businesses," Regan said.
Regan said overall, $2,500.66 was raised through free-will donation jars, the voting jars, concessions and prize drawings. The group of seven is taking the proceeds to Moore with them.
"If we can just help one family, that's the goal. Now that we can take all this money down there with us, it makes it that much better," Steward said.