Sing alongs, group hugs, and community: Boulder’s Wake of the Flood benefit concert

The Boulder Wake of the Flood Benefit showcased local musicians. All proceeds support flood relief along throughout Front Range communities.  Photo credit: Lauren Maslen

The Boulder Wake of the Flood Benefit showcased local musicians. All proceeds support flood relief along throughout Front Range communities.
Photo by Lauren Maslen.

By Lauren Maslen

Karen and Dawn did not have to be at the Fox Theatre in Boulder tonight. They recently experienced damage to their homes, business, and community when flood waters swept through their town of Longmont, Colo.

The sisters didn’t just show up with smiles on their faces, however; Karen and Dawn came to the Boulder “Wake of the Flood” benefit concert to sell Grateful Dead-inspired t-shirts as an independent fundraising effort.

“In the end,” Dawn explained, “people won’t remember the flood, except for the people who lost their homes.” Maybe a $20 t-shirt from a benefit concert will help them remember; or, Dawn hopes, it will provide a way to give a little something to people who need it in communities like her own.

That was the hope of Josh Elioseff, one of the founders of the Wake of the Flood fund. Elioseff is a member of local Boulder band, the Zimmermans, one of the featured acts at the the Fox Theatre’s benefit concert.

As Elioseff explained onstage, Wake of the Flood was founded to give money directly to individuals in the Front Range community.

“We’re not giving money to the big places that take 30 percent administrative fees. We’re giving it to the people who need it,” he told the audience.

Elioseff thanked the crowd during set breaks; explained the Wake of the Flood Fund to the audience; and introduced other fundraisers in the Boulder community, such as Sarah Martin. Martin not only lost her home, car, and other earthly possessions in the flood, but is now taking the time and effort to give others these simple necessities through her grassroots organization, The Exchange.

Boulder’s Wake of the Flood event is only one among several planned throughout the next month. EIioseff explained on the event’s Facebook page that in bringing musicians and fans together in community support, he hopes they can take their “minds off of the horror of the events for a few minutes and… escape into musical bliss.”

As the crowd sang along to the music and Karen and Dawn chatted with t-shirt shoppers, that bliss seemed attainable, if only for a few more sets of Grateful Dead covers.

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