R.O.K.ing the town

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Burning Yesterday opened Saturday night's Reaching Our Kids (R.O.K.) Concert at Calsonic Arena. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)

Organizers of Saturday's Reaching Our Kids (R.O.K.) Concert estimate attendance at between 1,500 and 2,000, but say the event reached many more children than that when community appearances are included.

Children from Southside Elementary School sing the National Anthem to open Saturday night's concert. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)

The concert, held Saturday night at Calsonic Arena, was organized by personnel from local emergency services and was free for children and students. It featured Christian bands Burning Yesterday and Seventh Day Slumber as well as vocal group Unity.

"From the feedback we have received, our show was a huge success," said Jason Barber, who put together the project. "Although I was the organizer, this was a team effort, and I could had not done this without the rest of the emergency services and dozens of volunteers."

Barber estimated that 3,500 more children were reached through appearances at local schools, a teen center and Fair Haven Baptist Church in the days surrounding the concert.

Members of the vocal group Unity sign autographs prior to their appearance Saturday night. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)

Unity made visits to several local schools in the days leading up to the concert, and Barber said the members of the group expressed gratitude for the hospitality they were shown throughout their Shelbyville visit.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, emergency services hosted a well-attended Safety Day at Calsonic Arena, with displays of emergency equipment and vehicles, as well as educational literature.

Barber thanked Bedford County Fire Chief Mark Thomas and the county fire department for their support, as well as Wayne O'Neal of the Cavaliers for helping to provide sound systems for some of the school visits.

"We are excited for R.O.K. 2014," said Barber, "and we will be hoping for the same support if not more from our area businesses, churches, and individuals."

Jason Barber, organizer of the R.O.K. concert, addresses the crowd. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)


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