Benefit concert for Uvalde families in San Antonio draws huge crowd

iHeartUvalde Benefit Concert featured Russell Dickerson, Easton Corbin and others

SAN ANTONIO – The Uvalde benefit concert was set up quickly. Alek Halverson with radio station KJ 97 said they started making arrangements on Thursday.

“Once we heard about what had happened in Uvalde, we knew we needed to act fast and do our best to help out the families that were affected by the horrible tragedy,” Alek Halverson, KJ 97 program director, said.

Halverson and the rest of iHeart Media started making calls and texting artists like Russel Dickerson, Kevin Fowler and Easton Corbin to perform at the Sunday show at Cowboys Dancehall.

Singer Clay Hollis didn’t hesitate and headed to San Antonio right after his show in Corpus Christi Saturday night.

”I love the shirts that we have today, Uvalde Strong. I think that’s really neat to see and I think there’s going to be a lot of happy people to contribute to a great cause,” Hollis said.

It’s about more than the music for everyone inside of the dance hall, especially Gwen Joubert and her husband.

“I’m out here to, you know, support the people of Uvalde. In ‘99 I lost five friends at Columbine,” Joubert said.

She knows better than most that the pain the families and community are feeling is going to last, which is why it’s vital to keep helping for the months and years that follow May 24th.

“We didn’t take advantage of the counseling services six months out, a year out because that’s not where we were at. And two years out when we tried to, a lot of the support and the funds had dried up and were gone. So just really trying to support them the way people supported us,” Joubert said.

That’s why the sky was the limit with the benefit concert. They’re hoping to raise enough to support the families of the 21 victims killed inside of Robb Elementary School for as long as possible.

A $25,000 donation came in from the For The Love of Kids and Harleys foundation before the show started.

”It’s something that really effected us deeply and it’s something that we are just trying to help and be supportive and be a part the big community that’s really trying to love on and help everybody find some peace in this terrible situation,” PJ, president of the organization, said.

Over $138,000 was raised on Sunday evening.

All of the money will be given to the First State Bank of Uvalde, which goes directly to the victims’ families.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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