El Reno benefit concert raises money for tornado victims

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EL RENO, Okla. - Hundreds of people gathered at Denny Crump Rodeo Arena in El Reno Sunday for the El Reno Strong Storm Relief Concert.

It was a free concert with all of the money raised going to help the victims of the May 25 El Reno tornado.

There was more excitement that everyone bargained for when tornado sirens started going off as soon as the event started, but that didn't keep people away for very long.

"A tornado benefit in a tornado," volunteer Pamm Tucker said. "That`s what it`s all about, and saving that, helping the flood victims, victims of the tornado, and keeping live music alive."

The crowd dwindled when the sirens first went off, but after the tornado warning passed, most came back to have a good time.  Everyone determined to enjoy good music for a good cause.

"Me and my husband both have donated, and it is awesome," Tonia Stacey said.  "I mean, El Reno is strong, we have to stick together to be strong."

Organizers say this was a group effort, from local businesses coming together to sell t-shirts, to the musicians on the stage and all of the volunteers.  Everyone coming together to make the benefit concert a success.

"Overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of all the people that came to help us.  To help these people, that`s awesome," Event Organizer Coyette Camper said.  "You don`t get that in a big city maybe, but around here in Oklahoma, no matter what happens people turn out in Oklahoma to help."

The concert organizers say they raised more than $40,000 for the El Reno tornado victims.

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