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April 13, 2006

State of Illinois to host Tornado Aid Benefit Concert to raise support for victims of recent devastation in Central Illinois
Local residents invited to family-friendly concert at the Illinois State Fairgrounds that will help the local American Red Cross’ storm relief efforts

SPRINGFIELD – Responding to the needs of local residents impacted by tornadoes and violent storms that have recently swept through the greater Springfield region, the State of Illinois will host a Tornado Aid Benefit Concert to raise money for the American Red Cross – Illinois Capitol Area Chapter – that has assisted many people after the storms. Six well-known bands from the region will headline the family-friendly concert event that will potentially bring together thousands of residents from throughout the state.

“The people of Central Illinois have endured some of the most severe weather and storm damage in recent memory. It's been great to see the community pull together to help friends and neighbors recover. And the state and federal governments are doing their parts to clean up the damage and help families and businesses get back on their feet. But it's also important to recognize the critical support that has come from the American Red Cross. They were on the ground providing assistance to whoever needed it almost immediately. This benefit concert will be a good opportunity to raise support for their ongoing recovery efforts right here in Central Illinois. I encourage everyone to generously give what they can,” said Gov. Blagojevich.

The Benefit Concert will take place on Sunday, April 30, with doors opening at noon to the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The suggested minimum donation is $5 per person, with kids under the age of 12 entering free. Food and beverage will be available for purchase, with sales revenue also going to charity.

The Tornado Aid Benefit Concert band lineup includes:

12:30 - 1:30     Jolly Band of Cowboys (Cowboy)
2:00 - 3:00       Thornhill (Acoustic Rock) 
3:30 - 4:30        Inspected by 12 (80's Pop Rock)
5:00 - 6:00        Ultraviolet (80's and Modern Rock)
6:30 - 7:30        River Ramblers (Bluegrass)
8:00 - 10:00      The City Limits Band  (Classic Rock, Country) 

“In the same way that state agencies and employees and thousands of Illinois residents assisted the victims of Hurricane Katrina, it’s important for us to come together and support efforts to rebuild Illinois communities. The American Red Cross continues to help many families to get their life back on track, and this benefit will help keep this vital organization strong,” Central Management Services Director Paul Campbell said.

The Tornado Aid Benefit Concert is being organized by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS), which also manages the annual State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign that supports charities – including the American Red Cross – throughout the state. The Department of Agriculture will be providing it’s facilities. Countless volunteers, businesses and media partners are teaming to make this charitable event possible.

During the March 12 storms, around 60 homes in Central Illinois were destroyed and more than 120 others were heavily damaged. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently approved Gov. Blagojevich's request for federal assistance for people and businesses in Greene, Morgan and Sangamon counties that suffered uninsured storm-related loss. That assistance can include cash grants to help with temporary housing, home repairs and replacement, medical, dental and other disaster-related costs.



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