News>Yokota community comes together to aid Japan in rockin' way
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Yokota members watch as the rock band Days Gone By performs during Tomodachistock 2011 on April 16, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. More than 700 people gathered to enjoy music, friendship and food while helping the American Red Cross raise money to support the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrea Salazar)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Children dance on stage April 16, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, as the band Days Gone By performs during Tomodachistock 2011. More than 700 people gathered at the free event to enjoy music and food while helping the American Red Cross raise money to support the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrea Salazar)
by Airman 1st Class Katrina R. Menchaca
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
4/19/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- More than 700 people gathered at an outdoor stage here to enjoy music, friends and food during Tomodachistock 2011 April 16.
Through this rock-filled benefit concert, the Yokota American Red Cross was able to raise $24,360 for the Japanese Red Cross earthquake and tsunami relief effort.
"(As musicians) we have a talent, and a lot of times we search out to do things to help ... but we never come together with other bands," said Lt. Col. Mike Edwards, the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander and vocalist of Days Gone By. "We were able to bring all of our collective talents to do something that is just phenomenal, to give a little back to the community."
For the bands participating in this event, this was a way for each to do what it loves and, at the same time, give something not only to those affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, but also to members of the Yokota community who have worked hard to support Operation Tomodachi.
"When you're a musician, you always seek to try to do positive things and the 'Stock is just one of those things," said Colonel Edwards.
The event was more than just bands playing. The American Red Cross volunteers collected donations for many projects by the Japanese Red Cross, to include building and furnishing houses, and funding the logistics for the UN food program.
"Right now the Japanese people are suffering; anything we can do to assist would be great," said Marry Basiliere, the senior station manager for the Yokota American Red Cross. "It feels great to have the Yokota community pull together for our Japanese neighbors."
In addition to the Red Cross collections from the crowd, donations came from five private organizations that manned food booths at the event. Each donated half of its proceeds to the cause.
Danny Breazeale, Days Gone By bassist and one of the people who came up with the idea for Tomodachistock, said, "I didn't know what to expect; honestly, I thought only five people were going to show, but everyone showed and they all seemed to be having a good time."