LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Oktoberfest is just two weeks away and the city of La Crosse is buzzing with excitement. However, the energy taking center stage at tonight's event is for a more pressing matter.
It's called Fight the Flood, a concert that's giving back to those who need it most
"That's the spirit of the community coming together," said event organizer and TUGG band member Andy Hughes. "That's what has made today special."
The last few weeks have been a bad dream for many communities as powerful floodwaters uprooted people's lives.
"It was devastating," Hughes said.
He thought it would be a good idea to hold a free concert to help raise money for flood victims.
"The theme has been, How can we help?" Hughes said.
More than 23 bands helped create a symphony of support.
"Helping hands. Many hands," Hughes said. "That's the only way to do something like this."
Three-time Grammy Award winner Bill Miller came back to where his career began.
"It's hard to describe," Miller said. "I feel humbled to be back home in a city that basically gave me everything."
Miller said he is happy to see his home city continue to show how much it cares for its neighbors.
"I think we should do this all of the time," Miller said.
It's the power of music and the measure of a community.
"It's healing and there's a lot of talent here," Miller said. "A lot of people in this town are very gifted. People just love music and love to get together."
Hughes said it's a chance to make a difference even if people can't make it out to those towns.
"Not everyone's able to dig into the muck and do the physical work, but we can do things like this where we can raise a lot of money and hopefully have some impact," Hughes said.
More than $100,000 have been raised and counting.
"Seeing (the flooding) first hand has been devastating but seeing what the community can do afterwards to come together has been pretty awesome," Hughes said.
One hundred percent of the donations raised at Thursday's concert will go directly to those who suffered the recent flooding.
To donate visit rotaryworksfoundation.org and scroll down to "Donate" or by calling 608-782-9307.
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