Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert
Chesapeake Energy Arena
100 W Reno Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(just off I-40 in downtown Oklahoma City – across the street from Cox Convention Center – and just steps away from a number of hotels, attractions, and dining and entertainment options in Downtown Oklahoma City and Bricktown.)
May 29, 2013
Buy Tickets Online http://t.co/XalF9TPxIx!
Tickets to Go on Sale Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m. CT
A special telecast will be aired at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. It will also air on cable networks Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT on either a live or delayed basis.
Just by the mention of Blake Shelton, Miranda, Reba and Vince Gill…you know this benefit and telethon comes straight from the most beautiful hearts in Country Music today. Blake Shelton has organized and will headline the telethon “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” including Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill and Reba McIntire also perform. Reba McIntyre and Vince Gill are also Oklahoma natives.
There will be more special artists announced soon, to add to the star-studded line up. Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert will raise money for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund, to aid long-term recovery efforts.
Currently residing in the city of Tishomingo, Blake Shelton was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma, which is 75 miles northwest of Moore, Oklahoma. The couple of Miranda and Blake are well known for their heartfelt advocacy of many causes and charities. This tragedy and deaths hit close to home for Blake and Miranda.
The National Weather Service assigned the Oklahoma twister a preliminary ranking of EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning the second most powerful category of tornado with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph). The 2-mile (3-km) wide tornado tore through Moore outside Oklahoma City on last Monday afternoon, trapping victims beneath the rubble, wiping out entire neighborhoods and tossing vehicles about as if they were toys.
The National Weather Service also said the twister was on the ground for 40 minutes. Authorities said Briarwood Elementary School in Moore received a “direct hit” from the storm and was also destroyed, with its roof and walls blown off. The Plaza Towers Elementary School was also demolished.
In the rubble, 24 people lost their lives. Ten of those victims were children – seven from Briarwood Elementary School and two from the Plaza Towers school. The youngest, a boy named Case Futrell, was 4 months old. Another girl, Sydnee Vargyas, was 7 months old. The oldest, a woman named Deanna Ward, was 70.
Gregory Davis, a forensic pathologist at the University of Kentucky and a state medical examiner in Kentucky, explained mechanical asphyxia as dying from of an overwhelming pressure, potentially from the rubble of a collapsed building. For a child, he said, they could pass out in about 30 seconds.
Many of the victims died of injuries related to blunt force trauma, including to the head and chest, but among the children — seven of whom were 8 or 9 years old — the cause of death for five of them was “mechanical asphyxiation.” Another was listed as “asphyxia.” For a child, they would be unconscious within 30 seconds.
The adults killed were Terri Long, 49; Megan Futrell, 29; Shannon Quick, 40; Jenny Neely, 38; Cindy Plumley, 45; Hemant Bhonde, 65; Rick Jones, 54; William Sass, 63; Gina Stromski, 51; Tewauna Robinson, 45; Randy Smith, 39; Leslie Johnson, 46; and Richard Brown, 41.
The children were 9-year-olds Antonia Candelaria, Janae Hornsby, Sydney Angle, Emily Conatzer, Nicolas McCabe and Christopher Legg. Kyle Davis was 8. Karrina Vargyas was 4.
Thousands of residents were left homeless.
The one way that Blake Shelton knew he could help immediately would be through the “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” aiding the United Way of Central Oklahoma.
Blake’s statement released to the media was “Everyone has their way to help, and mine as an entertainer is to perform to help raise money and awareness for this tragedy,” Shelton said. “This is why I want to do this special and especially hold it in Oklahoma City, which is near ground zero.”
This is not the first time that Blake Shelton has reached out to those in the wake of tragedy in Oklahoma. In 2011, Shelton and long-time friend Reba went back home to Oklahoma to host the “Tornado Relief Concerts” for victims affected by the Atoka County tornadoes. The two sold-out, two hour long concerts raised $500,000 for the Oklahoma victims.
Blake, who is currently a judge on NBC’s reality television show “The Voice,” performed a tribute song with wife, Miranda at the start of Tuesday’s show. Any person hearing this song, and familiar with the Oklahoma tragedy, shed a tear. I know that I did. You could definitely see the sad, yet such a beautiful tribute woven in between each lyric of “Over You.” One could feel the hurt and tragedy in Blake and Miranda’s voices.
Whether you attend the May 29, 2013 concert at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City or watch the televised concert, please donate to the families of Moore, Oklahoma who have lost everything, including their precious loved ones and children.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on May 25. Tickets are $25, with a limit of eight per person. Tickets can be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at (800) 745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com.
NBC is a unit of Comcast Corp.