The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 2nd

Concert Aids NYC Families

The concert, which featured local bands, raised money for the families of rescuers who died in the attack.

The WTC Benefit Concert featured 12 bands, including regional bands such as the b-Sides, Runaway Cab, Hobex and Poor Valentino, at the Fayetteville Street Mall in downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The benefit's proceeds were given to AmeriCares Heroes Fund to distribute to the families of New York's firefighters, police and Port Authority officials who died following the attacks.

Missy Biggers, UNC alumna and event organizer, said the benefit raised a total of $10,000, with $2,750 of that coming from the auctioning of donated sports and rock memorabilia.

Such items included a miniature basketball autographed by Dean Smith, a football autographed by the entire Tar Heel football team and three drum heads signed by the band Metallica. The drum heads alone brought in almost half of the auction's proceeds.

John Custer, benefit promoter and the guitarist of the band Brown, said the idea for the benefit concert simply arose from an intense desire to help those in need and to find the best way to encourage acceptance of others.

"Any kind of unifying thing ... that's the righteous cause now," he said. "(The attacks were) an incredibly black illustration of what happens when there are outcasts."

Shortly after the attacks, organizers began calling area music contacts and rounding up performers, speakers, food vendors and volunteers. "The response was insane," said Mikel Ross, also a benefit promoter and guitarist for Brown.

There was such a positive response from area musicians that organizers were forced to choose only 12 bands to perform and were able to put on the benefit solely with donated labor, services and equipment. WBBB 96.1 FM, part of the Curtis Media Group, provided free promotion and station DJ Danger Boy as an announcer.

Local firefighters, police officers, rescue workers and their families were admitted to the benefit free of charge as thanks for the risks their jobs entail.

While several Raleigh Police Department officers were on duty to provide security at the concert, no incidents were reported.

Raleigh Patrol Officer L.A. Hartman said the benefit was a positive experience for everyone involved. "It's a good cause and a good way to do it," he said.

Organizers said they hoped the benefit would unite attendees and re-establish confidence in the nation. Ross said that while the actions of terrorists might be frightening, they will not stop the nation from continuing on.

"We'll let them win the battle, which was the WTC, but we won't let them win the war."

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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