Students in tornado-hit Ind. town await ‘Lady A’

May 17, 2012, 12:13 AM

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Tornadoes battered their school and homes, and spring break was spent cleaning up. Henryville has only begun to rebuild, but for one night, its high school students will get to put aside their worries for a private show by one of country music’s biggest acts.

The southern Indiana community will share the spotlight with Grammy-winning Lady Antebellum on Wednesday night at the KFC Yum Center in nearby Louisville, Ky., where the trio will stage a “mini-prom” bash for students at Henryville Junior-Senior High School, followed by a benefit for the devastated community.

“With everything’s that’s happened _ the tornado and the destruction _ now we’ll have something else to remember for the rest of our lives,” said Henryville junior class vice president Kaitlyn Maloney, 17, who rode out the March 2 storm with her parents in the basement of their Henryville home. “This will give us something to remember that’s happy.”

The battered high school landed both events in late March by winning Lady Antebellum’s online “Own the Night” contest offering one school a concert at its prom. Schools as far away as northern Wisconsin submitted YouTube videos on behalf of Henryville, an unincorporated town hit by two tornadoes _ one packing 175 mph winds _ on a day when storms killed 13 people in Indiana and 24 in Kentucky.

Singer Hillary Scott said the band was moved by what she called the “selfless” entries from other schools, including rival Silver Creek High School in nearby Sellersburg, Ind.

“That was just such, honestly, an encouraging thing to think that those high schoolers, that generation, they’re that helpless, they want to help each other that much,” she said. “It was definitely an easy decision.”

Scott, who visited Henryville’s storm-damaged high school Wednesday in advance of the concert, tweeted afterward, “Seeing the destruction in person was TOUGH. Even more excited to hit the stage tonight!”

Lady Antebellum wasn’t able to perform at Henryville’s prom in late April due to a conflict with the band’s schedule. Instead, it opted for the mini-prom open to the 188 junior and seniors and their dates who attended the school’s formal prom, followed by a concert to benefit the town.

Each of Henryville’s juniors and seniors received five tickets for floor seating at the show. The juniors and seniors at Silver Creek, the rival Clark County school that nominated Henryville, each received one ticket, said Tahnee Brown of concert promoter National Shows 2.

Lady A’s Charles Kelley said the band hopes to lift the Henryville community’s spirits by putting on a special show.

“We want to just go there and hopefully bring a little joy, meet them, shake their hands, encourage them to try to get through it as best as they can,” the singer said.

The sold-out benefit is accompanied by an online drive that’s one of several disaster relief efforts for Henryville. That online drive had generated more than $119,000 by Wednesday morning, but concert organizers say that reflects only a portion of the money that’s been collected.

Henryville senior Austin Albert, whose father, Troy Albert, is the high school’s principal, said the show will be a huge boost to the hard-hit community.

“It’s given us something to look forward to _ something big for a small-town like we’re in, that’s pretty cool,” he said.

The show also could be a sort of homecoming for many town residents, said Monroe Township Trustee Allen Bottorff, a lifelong Henryville resident whose home was damaged in the storms and lost a second one he and his wife were remodeling. He planned to attend the show with his family, including his 18-year-old twins, son Tanner and daughter Drew.

“It’s going to be quite a bit of a reunion for a lot of people who have been scattered about,” Bottorff said.

___

Online:
http://www.bit.ly/ladyaprom

__

Associated Press staffer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this story.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

(Facebook photo/City of Mesa, Arizona Government)...
Tom Kuebel

Mesa, Phoenix ranked among best-run U.S. cities, per WalletHub

Mesa and Phoenix both made the top 35 in a list of best-run cities in the nation compiled in a recent study.
5 hours ago
(Photo by Omar Iakub/Cronkite News)...
Cronkite News | Neetish Basnet

Passing on gas: Biden’s gas-tax holiday gets cool reception in Arizona

President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to suspend gasoline and diesel taxes on both federal and state levels for at least three months.
5 hours ago
South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Youngse speaks during a news conference in Seoul, South Kore...
Associated Press

Seoul urges China, Russia to prevent North Korean nuke test

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A top South Korean official said Monday that North Korea is increasingly targeting the South with its nuclear arms program, and urged China and Russia to persuade the North not to conduct a widely expected nuclear test. Unification Minster Kwon Youngse’s comments came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un […]
5 hours ago
From left, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's Pr...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: G7 provides forum for like-minded democracies

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — In 1975, leaders of the world’s wealthy democracies gathered to deal with an energy crisis sparked by a war and rampant inflation. Those same sore points are bedeviling their successors representing 46% of the global economy at this week’s Group of Seven summit, with high consumer and energy prices threatening to […]
5 hours ago
A general view of the G7 leaders meeting with outreach guests for the working session of the G7 lea...
Associated Press

Live updates | Germany: gas search not against climate goals

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the G-7 summit, the annual meeting of the leading democratic economies, which this year is being held in the Bavarian Alps in Germany; and on the summit of NATO leaders that will start on Tuesday in Madrid: The German government insists its plans to tap new sources of […]
5 hours ago
Police forces drive to Elmau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Monday, June 27, 2022. The G-7 le...
Associated Press

Live updates | Germany’s Scholz: West won’t ‘torpedo’ G20

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the G-7 summit, the annual meeting of the leading democratic economies, which this year is being held in the Bavarian Alps in Germany: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the West has no intention to “torpedo” the Group of 20 — the group of major economies that also includes […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Students in tornado-hit Ind. town await ‘Lady A’