In less than two days in August, Charlie traveled for 17 hours and gave 2.5 hours of performances of two different repertoires in two concerts in Iowa City and Coralville IA to raise funds for two nonprofits in Iowa, The Preemie Project (TPP) and The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (UISFCH). He left for airport in NJ at 7:55 am on August 26, and got home at 2:42 am on August 28. Exhausted, but when final proceeds were tallied, he’s so excited that he was able to raise nearly $6000 for TPP and UISFCH! All the hard work in preparation, traveling and performing was worth it because of the help it brings to families in need!
Charlie’s concerts were met with tremendous enthusiasm by everyone that attended. The concertgoers lined up during the intermission AND after his first concert to purchase his autographed CD, Live, Dream, Love, and the proceeds of course went to the nonprofits as well. People liked his concert so much that more than 1/4 of the audience bought his CD, we were nearly sold out after just the first concert, and had to take orders in his second concert for CD sales, and many signed up despite the inconvenience. Many concertgoers, after listening to the first concert and hearing that the second concert would be even more exciting, chose to attend the second concert as well. And they were not disappointed. One pianist even came to both concerts and thanked Charlie for giving him ideas for Liszt’s and Chopin’s music. From general music fans to seasoned classical music lovers, everyone enjoyed the music tremendously, and better yet, also enjoyed helping out the great causes!
We were truly grateful to all the concertgoers for their support, and to the host of our first concert, First United Methodist Church of Iowa City for generously providing the venue free of charge to us for the great cause, and to its incredibly helpful Music Director Mr. Samuel Kwok for helping with the planning, promotion of the concert as well as finding volunteers to help with the concert itself and the Sign & Sale event ensued, also to Charlie’s teacher Professor Ingrid Clarfield who gets him prepared as usual. Without all of them, Charlie would not have had nearly as much success as he did. We also appreciate the 2nd concert venue, Coralville Center for Performance Arts, for their discount on rental and fees as well as helping out with some promotion. They went out of their way to be helpful to us, to be helpful for the cause. TPP had helped with posters and email promotion too.
The local newspapers Press Citizen and Daily Iowan had been very helpful to alert local music lovers of the event as well, thanks so much! Since we’re from NJ, having an event in Iowa is very difficult, particularly the promotion part. We have to depend on local media’s help to get the word out. That’s why we’re so thankful to PC and DI for publishing the event. But we were deeply disappointed at Cedar Rapids’ The Gazette, who chose not to publish the concerts to help out the great cause even when we notified them multiple times from more than a couple weeks ahead of the time and the concert venues were merely 25 mins away from Cedar Rapids. The University of Iowa Foundation itself also has very strict rules that prevented pretty much any help (other than allowing the use their logo) to 3rd party benefit event like this, so there’s no promotion whatsoever from them.
As such, we’re just overwhelmed with the success despite the lack of help from some local media and UI Foundation. Mr. Kwok and his promotions, the volunteers he mobilized, as well as Press Citizen and Daily Iowan were of tremendous help and we could not thank them enough! They are the Iowans that helped Charlie help Iowans! Of course, for everyone that came to the concerts, thank you all so much for helping Charlie help needy Iowa families!! We hope to see you again some time! And for all of you, please read the following items that TPP said the concert proceeds would help them fund:
- Gas Cards so families are able to make the trip to visit their child in the hospital
- Going home supplies including clothing, diaper, formula and wipes.
- stroller/carseat purchased for a homeless mother with a sick infant so she could make the 2 day bus trip down to Florida where a her old case worker was waiting to help her find housing and medical care for the baby.
- A special swing for a brain damaged infant that was inconsolable unless in the swing
- A double stroller for a set of twins
Immediately, a request that could now be fulfilled was the need by a teen mom with a baby that will be going home on oxygen. The Social Workers say the she is an “excellent mother” that is determined to succeed. Her baby has been in the NICU for months with lung problems. TPP will be shopping for a Stroller with a large basket on the bottom for the oxygen tank, because getting to doctors visits would have been very difficult with the need to transport the oxygen tank. TPP will also supply her with 6 month clothing, diapers, wipes and formula. Prior to funds raised by Charlie’s concerts with the help of everyone involved/attended, TPP had trouble to meet the request, but now, they’re so happy they can fulfill the request!
For every young musician that would be interested in helping the communities, please remember, the kind actions you make will translate into life necessities like those above for many families in need, and is there anything better than this? Please start or continue giving back to the society. If you’re interested, contact Charlie’s Rescue Music Foundation to help give more such concerts!
Finally, a stat: Since Charlie’s first benefit solo concert at age 9, Charlie has held 5 benefit solo concerts that raised nearly $12000 for nonprofits The Preemie Project, University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, The Plainsboro Rescue Squad, and his own Rescue Music Foundation that helped make 2 of these concerts happen. In 3 of these concerts, Charlie was either sick during the concert or still had some symptoms, but for the good causes, he persevered. Every concert took a tremendous time to prepare for and every one of them a great success despite the adversity. Great job Charlie (and William, who helped out one of the concert with one duet piece)!!