The “Unity” concert to benefit victims of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center drew about 100 people to Ansiq’ Oyo’ Park on Saturday afternoon. The free event, spearheaded by Isla Vista Action Committee member Martin Markovitz, was intended to bring together Isla Vistans to support the victims of the attack.
“We noticed that Isla Vista hasn’t done a drive to help out that the whole community could get involved in,” Markovitz said. “We wanted to keep it local and low key for the community.”
The Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District waived the park registration fee for the event so the $200 the committee had originally planned to use to pay for the registration went directly to the fundraising effort.
“We waived the fee because the concert is a community event put on by a small group of concerned citizens that want to raise money for a good cause,” IVRPD board member Ariana Katovich said. “Charging them for the use of the park would inhibit them from raising the most money possible for their cause.”
The event, which raised $580 in donations, will send the proceeds to New York Governor George Pataki’s New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund. The program promises the checks will be given directly to the families of the victims, specifically those that don’t receive popular aid, Markovitz said.
Local bands Idiot Savant, Stirfry, Budge and Dubsense, as well as The Hermeneutics from Los Angeles, performed at the event and said they were eager to help the cause.
Justin Badger, the lead singer from Stirfry, said the benefit show was a good idea because it brought the community together.
“No matter what type of interests people have, everyone can feel the pain of Sept. 11. To come together and listen to music, relax and help out with the cause at the same time is a great thing,” he said.
The Hermeneutics guitarist Tony Rasmussen said they participated because the band recognized music as a comfort in times of tragedy.
“Music is an expression of joy, and to keep making art in the face of great tragedy seems fundamental to the healing process,” he said.