Concert Benefits Union City Tornado Victims - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Concert Benefits Union City Tornado Victims

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For Jake Banta of the popular local band "Jake's Blues," Saturday wasn't an ordinary gig.

Down a dirt road in a tucked away park in Union City, his riffs raised money to rebuild a community damaged by disaster.

"I saw some of the trees and some of the devastation... and like I said, it's not a lot on my part to help out," said Banta. 

Union City native Mike Sheffield, who owns MJR Talent, reached out to Jake and several other bands to play a benefit concert for his hometown.

"I knew I had to do something, I had to come out and I had to help the people of Union City," Sheffield said. "I have the resources and I have the ability to put something together like this, I said let's do it."

He received a heartening response from the bands. Every group he asked gave a resounding "yes."

"We have 11 bands that have donated their time to play for everyone today, and the proceeds go to the American Red Cross Erie County chapter," said Sheffield. 

Anchor Amanda Post calls Union City home, and she lent her talents to the effort as well. She set the stage, singing the National Anthem.

Several weeks after the tornado touched down families are still struggling with the aftermath.

"Luckily my house wasn't hit by a tornado," said Todd Van Tassell, "but do you know how many people lost roofs and how many basements are full of water right now?"

 "Some of them didn't even have insurance, so there's people that are still bailing out their basements right now, are still putting tarps on the roof because they have no money to fix their own property," van Tassell said. "That's what this is all about, it's for Union City."

The concert is raising money, but just as important is how it's lifting the spirit of the community.

"That is the whole point is to help boost morale here as well... to bring everybody to be unified as one and really make it a celebration for them," said Sheffield. "They're all getting together in a time of need and helping each other out."

To donate to the local chapter of the American Red Cross, click here.

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