The storms killed nine people and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.
A two-day music event is planned to begin April 27.
Rock the Relief was formed to help raise funds to rebuild and collect items needed by storm survivors.
“Music and people coming together for a great cause. That’s what we are all about,” said Brian Jackson, a systems engineer for Corporate Network Solutions.
Realtor Samantha Oughtred-Young was also an instrumental force in Rock the Relief.
The group’s central focus is raising money to donate to the Long-Term Recovery Organization which was established just a few weeks after the storms.
To date, LTRO has been able to rebuild several homes with the aid of money, faith-based and civic organizations, as well as other business contributions. Many repairs on homes have also been accomplished.
Rock the Relief is now in the planning stages for “Rock the Relief 3,” according to Jackson.
“Immediately after the tornadoes, I began cutting and clearing trees. I also did the same thing on March 2. But, there was more needed and we put the first event together within a couple of weeks after the April 27 tornadoes. We collected canned goods and hosted a show in Polk County which raised money for the victims,” Jackson said.
“We partnered with Cleveland/Bradley Disaster Relief and held a very successful music event at a local pub. The planning committee is now partnering with Grant Pirkle and will hold a two-day event on his property where the veterans’ “Boogie at the Barn” event is held each year,” Jackson explained.
“We are very pleased to have partnered with and even become a committee member with Rock the Relief,” Pirkle said.
“Great things are headed our way regarding music events. Just this year alone we already have at least three events in the planning. The week after RTR3, the Boogie at the Barn will be held and Danny Shirley and Confederate Railroad will be performing. Later in the summer ... well ... let’s just say that if everything falls into place, there will be two very popular music entertainers who will be here to help raise money for the Veteran’s Home and RTR3,” Pirkle said.
“We feel everyone in the surrounding area will be surprised to as to who has come on board to support these great and very needed community efforts,” Pirkle added.
Pirkle also said two songwriters who have been established in the Nashville area (one who has written for Keith Urban and Charlie Daniels and the other who has written with Billy Burnette and Ruben Studdard), are planning shows at “Pappy’s Place” prior to the end of the summer show which is expected to be a major event.
The concert site is located at 185 Morgan Road in Charleston.
“The storms over the past year took a heavy toll on our community in every way imaginable. As agencies and community members are working tirelessly to put our community back together, RTR will be here to help. This fund was originally the idea of Steve Watson, who wanted to come back to his hometown and cheer us on and give us encouragement,” said Jackson.
Many will remember Watson from television shows such as HGTV, Fox Sports, the Discovery Channel, The Weather Channel and many other shows.
“Steve called on friends the night of the tornadoes in Bradley County. Suzanne Wisdom, Kelli Bilyeu, Greg and Melissa Kaylor worked to organize the first event and joined with Relay for Life just a week later,” he said.
“These five formed a committee, then partnered with the city, county and United Way. Eventually the committee partnered with myself, Samantha Oughtred-Young and Ty Young to organize the first RTR event. We found our funds could be best used to enhance the relief efforts already on the ground and addressing the unmet need of agencies and individuals,” said Jackson.
RTR3’s lineup for the two-day event is: One Shot Down, Jamie Higdon, Collins Brothers, Emily Pate, and Kings of the Killerfish on Friday. On Saturday, Bohne Forsberg, Old Boy Folklore, Poobah and McClung, Code Blue, Dog and Pony Show, Jared Elledge Band, the GoldRoom, Blues Hammer and Robo Sapien will perform.
For additional information on how to sponsor, participate as a vendor or purchase tickets, visit the www.rocktherelieftn.com website.
“We simply hope our efforts make a difference, and will provide some hope and comfort to those who have lost so much. We also know that this effort is going to be long-term and we plan to be working every day to raise money to help our community move forward,” Jackson said.