Local performers come together for “Concert for Ukraine”
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - After months of preparation, the Concert for Ukraine will take the stage Friday, June 10. The Idaho Falls fundraiser has already raised thousands of dollars for refugees and charities at work in Ukraine.
"All proceeds from the concert will go to charity. So, we've raised about $25,000 so far in sponsorships that have helped us with some of the hard costs," Concert for Ukraine committee chairman Mark Kerback said. "Our goal is to have $60,000 to give to four charities that we selected very carefully"
Kerback's wife Mira is from Ukraine. He says the idea came to him as he struggled to find ways to help his wife's family still in Ukraine.
"I woke up in the morning thinking, what can I do for her[Mira's] family in a country that's been invaded by Russia," Kerback said. "And I thought, let's do a concert for Ukraine."
Kerback quickly set off to organize the event. As a long-time musician, he knew how to reach out and find local and out-of-state performers.
The concert will include professional dance numbers, "junkyard dog" blues groups, and choirs singing traditional Ukrainian songs and their national anthem. The performers say it's easy to commit so much time to a good cause.
"I think all of us that are musicians in our own right and we would do this for free all the time. And this is a worthy cause," blues guitar player Ralph Perez said. "We just want to bring a little bit of the feeling that we have, while we perform for you and to them."
As more performers and organizers came together to plan for the event, they were able to find other ways to raise money for refugees. Including a Wednesday night gala before the event.
After all the work people have put into the concert, Kerback said the concert is already a success.
"We wanted to turn our anger and grief into action. And we've done it. And in my opinion, we've already been successful and we've raised a lot of awareness for this crisis that's going on in Ukraine," Kerback said.
The concert gala has sold out, but concert tickets are still on sale at Concert for Ukraine.