KINGSBURG – Stephanie Assisi is like many Kingsburg residents dismayed after hearing national news about floods, fires and hurricanes.
“I felt like I’m just a music teacher, a musician, a mom with three kids. What can I do?” she said of her initial thoughts. She decided to use just those talents and connections at work and place of worship to pool together local talent to put on a benefit concert. “That’s when I thought Kingsburg seems like the perfect community where we can use the talent and the musicians we have locally,” she said of the concert idea.
The Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert is 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Kingsburg Covenant Church, 1490 Lincoln St. Donations will be accepted and all raised funds will be donated to Love Mercy Do Justice which works in coordination with Covenant World Relief.
Love Mercy Do Justice partners with organizations in affected areas to respond immediately to those in need during sudden onset disaster. They are also working on the California fires response via the Redwood Covenant Church.
The concert will feature the Kingsburg High School Jazz Choir and Kingsburg High School music staff, Leah Brey and friends and community children who will sing “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the “Trolls” movie to encourage all in attendance. The evening will end with hot cocoa and refreshments.
On Oct. 20 Assisi rehearsed with school-age children at the SonShine Learning Center as they practiced for the “Trolls” number.
Assisi said the children will dress up in bright colors, tulle and colorful hairpieces to resemble the troll characters as well.
Among the young singers is Aaron Alvarado, 6, who said it feels good to be able to help and he’s already familiar with the song.
“I hear it a lot at assemblies at first grade. It makes me feel happy,” he said.
Kamryn Comstock, 7, says she is a little nervous about doing the performance but said she’ll give herself a pep talk as they take the stage.
“I’m going say, ‘God will take care of me.’ I’m kind of nervous, but it makes me happy to do this show.”
Jocelynn Gonzalez, 9, said she’s eager to perform in the concert as her own cousin has a friend who was affected by a recent hurricane.
“My cousin’s friend was in the hurricane in Florida, so I was hoping to help her. The top of their house is broke and now they have nowhere to live.”
Gonzalez said she’s performed in plays in the after-school program so she’s not nervous and even has words of encouragement for the younger children.
“I’d say for them to never give up, do their best and don’t be worried. It may not be the best at that time, but it will help in your life to know to not be afraid.”
Assisi is a pianist for the Kingsburg High choir and said she coordinated with band teacher Mike Schofield and choir director Richard Mynderup to have those students perform.
“It was just something that God put on my heart and I contacted [Worship Ministries Director Leah Brey] and everybody helped me to put this together,” she said of the joint effort. “It’s a way that people can help when we normally feel helpless after we’ve had one natural disaster after the other. We can do something good to help.”
Brey agrees the effort is one way locally to help on a global scale.
"There are so many things going on in the world lately and sometimes we feel so far removed from them. This benefit concert is a small way that we can engage in what is going on. We may not all be able to fly to Texas or Florida to help but we can gather as a community here to raise money to help support the relief efforts," she said.