CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) – “Our community right now is so used to gathering together and getting things done. People just said 'Yes, yes, yes let's do this.'”
That's the response Steve Shriver, owner of the Olympic Theater in Cedar Rapids, got when he and friend Lovar Davis came up with an ambitious plan, put together a fundraiser in just two days time.
“One of the things we noticed right off the bat is that the Catherine McAuley Center was hit as hard or harder than most were,” says Shriver, “and they do so much for the community that we said that we need to get them back and rolling fast.
The center, which assists immigrants, refugees, and women in crisis, took severe roof and water damage in last week's storm.
So, Shriver and crew organized a socially distanced two-part concert. First they held a free event Saturday afternoon to gather donations outside Newbo City Market. Later in the evening, the Olympic Theater hosted a paid concert.
Volunteer emcee Scott Dix didn't need much convincing to hop on board the plan.
“When Steve Shriver and his crew say 'Scott, can you do something?' you just show up and you do it, “says Dix, “It's infectious. It's hard to not want to get involved and give back to your community when they're so willing to give to everyone around them.”
That spirit continued Saturday with more than $2,000 ending up in to the event's venmo account (@newbo-derecho) in just the first hour. For Shriver, it's no surprise after what he's witnessed since the derecho ripped through the city last week.
“I've seen a lot of sorrow, a lot of pain,” he says, “but coming back to that whole resiliency thing that we have here in Cedar Rapids has just been amazing.”