Benefit for Katrina Evacuees
Colin and Aye Gurd

Benefit in Blairsville, Georgia for Katrina Evacuees

A benefit for Katrina evacuees was held Saturday evening, September 10, 2005, at O'Reilly's parking lot in Union County. There were free hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, and good music. Donations were accepted and lots of money was raised.

There was one young couple in the audience from New Orleans. Aye and Colin Gurd fled Louisiana with their two dogs and two cats. They first went to Birmingham , then Atlanta . They got on the internet and found a cabin here in Blairsville that accepted pets. "We wanted to stay somewhere with open spaces. We are glad we ended up in Union County where everyone is so nice. We came out tonight to see what the community is doing. It's wonderful how everyone is helping. It means so much."

The Gurd's think their home is still standing. Aye is a medical student at Tulane University and her husband works at Charity Hospital. They plan to return to New Orleans when classes start back next semester.

Four southern gospel bands performed; Harmony in Praise, Spirit Led, Trinity, and By the Book. CDs were on sale with all proceeds going to the Southern Baptist Association and the American Red Cross. When By the Book was playing their first song, the power went out. "We're finally a real rock band! We've blown the breakers." Power was soon restored and they went on to put on a great show.

Michael Kennedy, a member of By the Book Band, organized the Union County event. He said, "The Lord put it on my heart to help the hurricane victims. It all came together very quickly. I'd like to thank North Georgia News for running our announcement; Ingles for donating the food, all the churches that helped get things ready, Ricky Tanner at O'Reilly's, United Community Bank for the tent, Carolina Rentals, Rick's Rentals, and especially the bands. We hope to do something like this every month."