By Dan Haag
“Sing For Love,” a benefit concert to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey, will be held Saturday, September 23 at 7 pm in the North County Recreation District (NCRD) Performing Arts Center.
LaNicia Williams, founder of Oregon Coast Love Coalition (OCLC), put together “Sing For Love” after chatting with friends about how to translate a feeling of helplessness into action.
The idea received an outpouring of positive support as people from the Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler looked for a way to help residents of Texas and Louisiana in a meaningful way.
In a matter of days a venue was secured, musicians booked and charities selected. Besides OCLC, “Sing For Love” found co-sponsors in Nehalem Bay United Methodist Church and NCRD.
“It started as a Facebook post but is turning into something real!” Williams wrote on OCLC’s Facebook page after “Sing For Love” began to gel into reality in early September.
The event will feature a wide variety of area musicians and performers: The Gospel Trio, Fred and Sonya, Keith Cantrell, Nelson and Hines, Cat Freshwater, N.E. Daynow, Lani High, and LaNicia Williams.
Each act will perform three or four songs with a slide-show of photographs from the recent disaster displayed in the background. Mike Sims will serve as emcee.
Williams, an accomplished performer, isn’t nervous about the speed at which the event has come together.
“I’ve been doing this kind of thing since I was 10 years old,” she said, adding that for everyone involved, the benefit is a labor of love rather than a major production.
Despite the Nehalem Valley being so far away from Houston, Williams thinks area residents are eager to show support.
“We just dealt with our natural disaster last year, and we recovered fairly easily because of so much compassion,” Williams said. “I’m hoping that’s the same compassion that will show up on the 23rd.”
Funds raised will be split between the St. Bernard Project and the Oregon Humane Society. Suggested donation is $20 and the goal is to raise $10,000 in relief dollars to split between two organizations. The event will also offer the chance for attendees to donate non-perishable food items to support the local food banks.
Williams encourages those who are not able to attend the event to still consider making a donation. Checks can be made out to Nehalem Bay United Methodist Church with “Hurricane Relief” written on all checks. All donations are tax deductible.
The message of “Sing For Love” is clear: even if you do not live somewhere that has been the target of a disaster, you can still make a positive impact on people’s lives.
“We care about our own but there is so much happening everywhere,” she said. “It’s just more inspiration to live.”
NCRD is located at 36155 9th Street in Nehalem
LaNicia Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-243-3765.