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Five charities to benefit from Tuesday's Avett show

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The Daily Reflector

Friday, November 9, 2018

A concert featuring the grammy-winning Avett Brothers will donate proceeds from next week’s show to five area charities that have provided invaluable aid to people affected by Hurricane Florence, organizers announced this week.

Tickets are still available for the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Minges Coliseum on the campus of East Carolina University. The Avetts, a Concord-based act with connections to ECU and eastern North Carolina, will headline the show. Future Islands and Valient Thorr, national recording acts with their own connections to the region, also will perform.

All three bands are donating their time and talent to the event in an efforts to raise $250,000 for hurricane relief. The City of Greenville, East Carolina University, Uptown Greenville and Inner Banks Media are partnering to promote and produce the event.

"We are honored by the opportunity to contribute to our friends and neighbors affected by Hurricane Florence,” said Seth Avett, whose brother, Scott, is an ECU alum. “We hope this performance not only provides some financial relief for victims of the storm but also is an occasion to celebrate the resilience of the people of North Carolina. We can’t wait to return to the eastern part of the state."

The Avett Brothers and their partners identified The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, The New Bern Relief Fund, RISE, Onslow Community Outreach, and the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) as the organizations that will receive 100 percent of net proceeds from the concert. The East Carolina University Foundation will manage the disbursement of funds.

Organizers said that each of the organization has worked tirelessly in the aftermath of Florence to assist people left in need. Following is a bit of information from each of the groups:

■ The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina has six branches covering 34 counties. The sites in Greenville and New Bern have been in the forefront of Florence relief efforts. According to George Young, Eastern Regional Director, the Food Bank has distributed nearly 3 million meals and has packed 10,000 disaster relief boxes for families in need. They continue to respond to immediate needs.

“Financial donations are needed to support the Food Bank’s warehouse operations, trucks, drivers, fuel, and other costs related to distributing millions of pounds of food to where people are struggling to meet household expenses in the communities where they live,” Young said.

■ The New Bern Relief Fund, co-created by Buddy Bengel and the Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation, was established after tidal surge and heavy rains from the storm caused flooding and destruction in much of the city’s core. According to Bengel, 100 percent of contributions will go directly toward providing housing for members of the New Bern community.

■ RISE is a nonprofit established in Jones County to Recover, Improve, Support and Empower in the wake of disaster, organizers said. Jones County faced crippling damage to homes, schools, churches, and businesses. Focusing on long-term recovery, RISE will continue to organize and coordinate resources from among public, private, inter-faith and volunteer agencies to help their residents move forward.

■ Onslow Community Outreach, based in Jacksonville, is a “helping hands” nonprofit for low-income and vulnerable populations. A donations center was established in the wake of Florence to receive and distribute essential goods to approximately 2,000 families and individuals, along with providing nutritious meals to families who had lost power.

According to Don Herring, chairman of the organization, its program offers a Soup Kitchen, Homeless Shelter, Caring Community Clinic and Christmas Cheer and will reach 9,000 clients this year. Revenue from the concert will help rebuild their medical and food assistance programs.

■ RAFI focuses its efforts on farmers. Because of The Avett Brothers’ knowledge of farming and their support of family farmers at Farm Aid 2014, the band wanted to ensure that farmers impacted by Florence received the aid they needed, organizers said.

Farm Aid recommended the Durham-based RAFI, which provides information and relief to farms and farm families immediately following natural disasters through the entire recovery period, organizers said. They work with local, state and federal agencies to make sure assistance goes where it is needed most, building bridges and relationships between farmers and community-based organizations and other agencies. RAFI also works with communities to seek longer-term changes to disaster, risk management, and credit programs to improve future outcomes for farmers.

In addition to ticket sales, the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise donated $25,0000 to the cause, and local restaurateurs Samuel Jones and Vivian Howard are holding a VIP pre-concert picnic fundraiser featuring Avett cellist Joe Kwon.

About 1,700 tickets upper level tickets remained for the show as of Wednesday and organizers are hoping for a sellout to raise the full $250,000.

Tickets are $65 and available through ecutickets.net and by phone at 800-DIAL-ECU (800-342-5328).

PRECONCERT PICNICK

Prior to the concert, guests can work up an appetite and enjoy “Sammies with Sam & Friends” from 4-5:30 p.m. at Williams- Clark Club Level inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, featuring Pitt County’s own pitmaster Sam Jones, of Sam Jones BBQ and Skylight Inn, along with his friends Joe Kwon, cellist with The Avett Brothers and Vivian Howard of PBS’s A Chef’s Life.

“Vivian, Joe, and myself are great friends, and we do a lot of charity work together all over the country,” Jones said. “We are all passionate about giving back to those in need, so it was a no-brainer when we saw a chance to be able to make a difference here at home.”

Tickets for fundraiser are $100 and includes the price of a picnic meal and drinks valued at $45. All proceeds from this event will also go Hurricane Florence relief efforts in. Tickets are available at http://www.bit.ly/sam-n-friends.

 

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