Louisiana Rising brings in big stars, big donations for flood victims
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The music may have covered all genres, from southern rock to zydeco and the blues, but for one night, the inspiration was all the same. Dozens of stars gathered in Baton Rouge, playing to a nationally-televised audience to help Louisiana rise again.
"It's great to be able to bring people's awareness to Louisiana and the severity of the floods," said Kevin Griffin the lead singer for Better Than Ezra.
"Just to give people peace of mind and hope that no matter what dark days there are, musicians, we all stand together," said zydeco musician Dwayne Dopsie.
Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief brought together more than a dozen headliners, each with a special connection to the state brought to its knees by catastrophic flooding, including American Idol finalist Mackenzie Bourg.
"My family was impacted by the floods. I just figured anything I could do. I was in town banging out the floors and the cabinets," said Bourg.
Every song and voiced raised Monday night helped to raise national awareness and donations for the state's long term recovery through the American Red Cross. The concert raised more than $800,000 though a final figure has not be released yet. All funds stay right here in the Bayou State.
"We've served over almost a million meals and snacks. We have 66,000 shelter stays that we've provided. Right now, we have about 11 shelters opened. We're just actively providing disaster mental health, clothing, blankets, food, just there for the people in need," said American Red Cross spokesman Anthony Tornetta.
With a national audience watching, the musicians proved that the place they call home won't stay down for long.
"We've given the world so much and I think the world needs Louisiana. So, we have to try to rebuild this and not just rebuild this but make it better in the future," said blues musician and actor Chris Thomas King.
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