Tahoe rocks for hurricane victims Six-hour benefit concert featuring seven bands rakes in $4,500 and counting
In typical Tahoe time, it may have taken a few dozen minutes before the six-hour, seven-band Hurricane Katrina benefit concert got under way at the American Legion Hall in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday. But once the last amplifier was plugged in, so were the hundreds of adults and children who came to watch.
In what was the first of its kind in terms of a benefit for people in need a thousand miles away, the outpouring of generosity from musicians and the South Shore community was obvious, as carloads of people streamed in and out throughout the day to take in sun, suds, seasonable temperatures and what Tahoe does best when it sets its mind to something.
Yes, Tahoe rocked once again for the greater good.
Organizers of the event, Liz Broscoe of Raw Nature, Jesse Kalin of Cool Black Kettle and Louisiana native and South Shore massage therapist Danielle Chopp pulled off the fund-raiser – so far collecting about $4,500 and still counting – that will go to families of the American Legion in New Orleans and Mississippi.
The event was emceed by Howie Nave, manager of The Improv at Harveys and morning disc jockey on KRLT 93.9 FM, who crammed in one-liners between giving away raffle prizes, where residents paid a buck each to win dozens of dinners, movies, clothes, massages and assorted business services.
Within the span of six hours, seven South Shore bands, revved up their drums, microphones and guitars, entertaining crowds that swarmed in by the hundreds through 5 p.m. Children danced. So did their parents. And so did dozens of others throughout the day.
Participating bands included Broscoe’s band Raw Nature, Kalin’s band Cool Black Kettle, with special guest Aaron Hagar, Broscoe’s 15-piece African drum band Java Djembe, Mabiba, Lavish Green, Shameus and Mark and Grace Wilson, and the Johnny Cash tribute band, Cash Only. Also dropping by was Alexander and Friends from the Fusion Magic Show at the Horizon Casino Resort and The Boys & Girls Club of South Lake Tahoe.
For five individuals who were directly affected by the hurricane Katrina, the concert and the community outpouring was a blessing, if not an unusual welcome to town after the devastating circumstances because of Hurricane Katrina.
Attending the benefit were five evacuees, employed by Horizon Casino Resort’s parent company Columbia Sussex, who lost their homes and their jobs on the Belle of Orleans, a riverboat casino half-sunken in the Mississippi River.
Glenn King, Eric Adossa, Keith and Linette Robinson and Fae Esteves arrived at South Shore last week to stay and work at the Horizon while they gather some semblance of normalcy to their lives after the hurricane. Horizon Casino Resort has given them the hotel to stay in, jobs and unlimited meals, while the New Orleans employees try to figure out what to do next. Some say they want to stay in Tahoe and are now looking for affordable places to live.
King, Adossa, Esteves and the Robinsons said the South Shore’s support, as shown through Saturday’s concert, was overwhelming and generous.
“All these people are out here today doing something that happened a long ways from them. It is really a nice thing. We’re very thankful,” said Keith Robinson, who is here with wife Linette, while the couple’s three children are staying with Linette’s mother.
The cleanup is a massive undertaking and New Orleans may never be the same again, said King, who took in music and impromptu greetings from South Shore residents.
“We appreciate what the people in this town are doing,” said King, who worked as director of surveillance on the Belle of Orleans, and who is now employed by Horizon.