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Hurricane relief concert raises $325,000

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The Carolina Panthers sponsored the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief and donated $25,000.

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ECU News Services

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Concert for Hurricane Florence earlier this month raised $325,000 for five agencies that are helping people in the region recover from the storm, organizers announced Tuesday.

Fans purchased more than 4,000 tickets for the Nov. 13 show, which featured headliners The Avett Brothers as well as Future Islands and Valient Thorr at ECU’s Minges Coliseum. Members of all three bands have Greenville ties.

The concert was organized by the ECU Foundation, Uptown Greenville, the city of Greenville and Inner Banks Media. The Carolina Panthers were the official sponsor of the event and also donated $25,000. Fundraising surpassed the the show’s $250,000 goal.

“ECU ­­– our students, our faculty and our staff – are committed to helping those people and communities affected by Hurricane Florence,” ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton said in a news release from the university. “Seeing the region’s organizations and bands join us in the relief effort has been remarkable, and I’m truly impressed with what this concert was able to achieve.”

The net proceeds from the show will go to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, The New Bern Relief Fund, RISE in Jones County, The Onslow Community Outreach Program and RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA).

“I’m extremely appreciative of the university, the bands, Inner Banks Media, the Panthers, and anyone who had a hand in creating this event,” New Bern Relief Fund chairman Buddy Bengel said. “Our entire relief fund was set up to rebuild houses and businesses in New Bern. One hundred percent of the funds we receive will go toward capital projects here.”

The regional director of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina also voiced his appreciation for the support to local families.

“We’re thankful for the incredible support from this community, coming together so quickly to help North Carolinians in need,” said George Young. “The donations from the hurricane relief concert will go a long way in providing food and hope for people facing hunger.”

Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina on Sept. 14, dumping record rainfall and causing massive flooding, hundreds of road closures and 39 deaths in the state.

Scott Avett, an alumnus of ECU, told the News & Observer of Raleigh that his own experiences with hurricanes made him want to show support for Florence victims.

“I was in Concord for Hugo at age 12, and it wrecked everything,” he said. “And I was at ECU when both Fran and Floyd hit. I remember those so well and I saw firsthand what they did. All those storms made me an advocate for helping people who have experienced that type of damage.”

In addition to helping organize the concert, ECU set up a website to help those affected by Hurricane Florence and established its own relief fund.

Long term, ECU will support groups of communities and businesses in the region with technical expertise to create recovery plans, hold workshops for business recovery and provide grant- and loan-writing services.

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