Coalition To Throw Benefit Concert For Families Of Chicago Club Tragedy Victims

Tribute concert to feature performances by R&B singers Carl Thomas and Syleena Johnson, rapper Mikkey from Cash Money Millionaires.

Plans have been announced for another benefit concert to aid the families of the 21 victims killed almost one month ago during a stampede at Chicago's E2 nightclub. A local coalition of hip-hop promoters and urban entrepreneurs will hold the Triumph Over Tragedy Memorial Benefit Concert at Chicago's Isaac Hayes Restaurant on March 26.

The event will feature performances by a number of Chicago acts, ranging from R&B singers such as Carl Thomas and Syleena Johnson to rappers such as Mikkey from the Cash Money Millionaires, to spoken word artists including Def Poetry Jam performer Malik Yusef.

According to an event spokesperson, the Triumph Over Tragedy committee hopes to continue public service works for the Chicago inner city community long after March 26, but the immediate goal of the benefit is to raise funds, both via donation and ticket sale proceeds (see "Talib Kweli To Host Benefit Concert For Families Of Chicago Club Victims").

All funds raised at Triumph Over Tragedy will be handed over to the E2 Fund for the 21, a charity set up in Chicago by Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH coalition, the Salem Baptist Church and Seaway National Bank. This fund, which aims to help the families of the 21 victims, was organized in the days following the February 17 disaster, and has since raised over $90,000, including a $63,000 donation from R. Kelly and a $15,000 donation from producer Kanye West. Denise Rogers of the Salem Baptist Church said that $4,000 from the fund has already been handed out to each of the 21 families, and that the fund would continue collecting donations until the end of the month.

Last week, the Chicago Public School System announced that it had created its own charity, the E2 College Fund, to establish long-term scholarships for the approximately 35 children who lost parents in the tragedy. The college fund has already raised $60,000 and is being overseen by Chicago's Harris Bank and the Community Bank of Lawndale.

Look out for your own safety, and check out "How To Keep Yourself Safe If There's A Crowd Crush Or Fire At A Club."