Benefit show planned for Bloomington to help Texas shooting victims and families | Local News

BLOOMINGTON — After 21 people were murdered in Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, one normal musician wonders how he can be a catalyst for change.

Marcos Mendez answers this question by organizing a benefit show Thursday, June 2, at the nightshop, 517 N. Main St., Bloomington. He and several others will perform without pay during the event, with a suggested $10 donation from attendees. Funds will be sent to an account with First State Bank of Uvalde, which has been verified by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.

Mendez, who moved 15 years ago from Three Rivers, Texas, to Bloomington and now resides in Normal, said he felt grief and frustration after hearing the news this week. He said these mass shootings have happened before and continue to happen.

“There are people who want change and want action, but all we really hear are people who want to offer thoughts and prayers,” Mendez said. “It’s just not enough.”

Mendez says he saw a Houston musician Rich O’Tool’s Facebook post offering to perform a benefit show that would help defray funeral expenses for the Uvalde families. O’Tool added in the post, “Their families don’t have to pay a dime.”


FOR THE PANTS Adrian Mendez

Mendez said he took that as a call to action to hold a fundraising concert in Bloomington. He said he’s started reaching out to musicians and venues.

“The support people have given has been overwhelming, nothing but helping these families who are affected by this senseless act,” he said.

Mendez said he’s been performing country covers since moving here and will perform on Thursday’s show. He covers songs from Texans like Pat Green, Cory Morrow and Robert Earl Keen.

Brittany Griffith, who played fiddle in Mendez’s former band, Two Dollar Ransom, will perform.

Other artists who will perform include: V8 Vast Change, Kim Kaufman, Larry Estes, Wes Hood, Peggi Hattaway and Angie Carstens, Travis Stone, Fred Snellen, Charlie Faulkner, Chris Corkery and Dave Homler, who performs under the stage name Troublemaker.

Mendez’s daughter, Adrian Mendez, is playing tentatively.

The event shirts will be made onsite by Meltdown Creative Works, with proceeds after costs going to the Uvalde Fund. Mendez’s college friend, Victoria Bray, who lives in Texas, designed her logo.

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Mendez said that even though performers have 15 to 20 minutes for a solo set, they can organically group together and perform together.

He takes the willingness of performers to engage as a good sign.

“It’s really about communing with people and bringing people together for the cause,” he said.

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Come together

Mendez said seeing photos of children killed in Uvalde hit him hard because they looked like he did as a child.

“They look like my nieces and nephews,” he said.

He also said he had friends who lived in Uvalde. One shared a social media post about someone affected by the shooting.

“You never know who you’re connected to, and so you never know where it’s going to be,” he said.

He noted that shots were fired near the Illinois State University campus in Normal on Wednesday.

“Our community is not immune to this sort of thing. We need to come together as a community to help figure it out,” he said.

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Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison

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