Benefit has local tie-in |

Benefit has local tie-in

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson Gretchen Jacobson is helping to put together a benefit with SoulFeel's Brad Foster for hurricane ravaged families with a local connection which will be held at 2 p.m. this Sunday at Two Rivers Park. Jacobson, a New Orleans native, has family and friends who were affected by the natural disaster, but has learned that they are all safe.

Gretchen Jacobson’s childhood home near the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans is under water, and her family’s homes elsewhere on the Gulf Coast have been destroyed. Jacobson, a fourth-generation New Orleanian who works for Nobel/Sysco in Glenwood Springs, has family members on their way to Glenwood to escape the devastation Hurricane Katrina exacted on their hometowns, where her sisters’ homes near New Orleans’ broken 17th Street Canal lie in ruins. Jacobson said her mother lived in a mobile home in Bay St. Louis, Miss. “It was pretty much gone,” she said.

After hearing her family’s escape stories and the plight of the tens of thousands the hurricane left homeless, Jacobson and fellow New Orleanian Brad Foster, of the Glenwood-based band SoulFeel, decided to do something “more personal” than just giving money to a charity. Jacobson said she received phone calls from friends wanting to do something for the victims, but they wanted to know who they’re helping and where their money will go. So Foster and Jacobson decided to hold a benefit concert at 2 p.m. this Sunday at Two Rivers Park for Gulf Coast families with a local connection affected by Hurricane Katrina. Foster, who grew up within 30 miles of New Orleans, said the concert will feature the bands SoulFeel, 42, Three Legged Dog and others, with food provided by the 8th Street Deli.

Jacobson said there is no goal for how much money she’d like to raise. Anything will do, she added. The proceeds will be donated to specific families on the Gulf Coast with a portion going to a Catholic charity. Jason Higens, owner of 8th Street Deli, said he’ll have his grill going at the park, serving up chicken and beef fajitas, cold salads, beverages and other fixin’s. Despite the tragedy, there are already signs that spirit will soon return, she said: “The fact that downtown and the French Quarter have somewhat made it for now gives us hope – that we’ll make it home again at some point.”

Glenwood-area residents with family members living on the Gulf Coast in need of help should contact Jacobson via e-mail at Jacobson also set up a donation account at US Bank under “Locals’ families of Katrina.”Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext.

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