Hundreds of Iowans Gather to “Jam” for Ukraine
The Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, IA was packed with an upwards of 1,5000 Iowans this past Sunday, all united under one common bond: their unwavering support of the Ukrainian people fighting for their lives.
The Val Air Ballroom hosted the "From Iowa with Love: Benefit Jam for Ukraine," which began at 11 am and kept the music and festivities going until after 8 pm, when the final act took the stage.
One local act after another took to the stage while food trucks served food for supporters and concertgoers all afternoon and evening.
Every dime of the donations, ticket sales, merchandise, and $20,000 from event sponsors will be donated to the USA for United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as the United Nations Refugee Agency. They are presently providing aid and relief to Ukrainians in the form of everything from blankets to emergency shelters and general supplies. The items are being delivered to neighboring countries and given to Ukrainians via convoys.
More than $20,000 was raised before the event even formally started. Turnout, according to a Des Moines Register columnist and organizer for the benefit, was never a real concern. It was more about the weather and how the venue would hold up. "From Iowa to Love" was originally scheduled to take place at Water Works Park in Des Moines but the event was moved after several rounds of rain moved through the area.
Performers included Patresa Hartman & Stephen Graham; Rick Burke; The Heath Alan Band; Electroblast; Kevin Burt; and Brother Trucker, to name a few.
It may be happening thousands of miles away, but it's a beautiful thing when Iowans come out and band together for causes much greater than themselves (or any of us individually).