1:14 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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Channel 3 partnered with LaVilla Event Center and Clear Channel Media & Entertainment to host a community benefit "Call to Courage" on Thursday to assist Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight.

Organizers say the event raised $30,000 for the Cleveland Courage Fund set up for the women.  Between 400 and 500 people attended.

If you couldn't make the Call to Courage benefit, you can still contribute to the girls' recovery!

TEXT "courage" to 313131 and your donation will go directly to trust funds set up in their names by the Cleveland Courage Fund

LaVilla Event Center at 11500 Brookpark Road donated their facility for the benefit and Party 411 Events  helped plan the evening's events.

Music was provided by singer and pianist Mike Petrone and Monica Robins and the Ninja Cowboys, playing a mix of rock, 80's and country. Local singer/songwriter Ashley Nemeh also performed a song written specifically to honor these three young women.

Area restaurants donated their time and talents cooking up some of Cleveland's favorites, including Johnny's, Georgetown, Triv's, and numerous others.

Dozens of area businesses donated items for a silent auction and raffle with numerous items including concert tickets and meet and greets for Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan and Rascal Flats.

Autographed guitars by Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Justin Bieber, and STAIND were up for grabs. Kyrie Irving donated a signed basketball, jersey and hat.

T-shirts that have been distributed by area restaurants in exchange for donations to the Cleveland Courage Fund were available.

Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. General Contractors  generously donated funds to cover the cost of producing this batch of t-shirts.

"Call to Courage" was hosted by WKYC's Robin Swoboda and WTAM's Bill Wills and guests had the chance to meet some of their favorite radio and television personalities including WKYC's Russ Mitchell, Betsy Kling and Jim Donovan, WGAR's Brian & LeeAnn, Rover and Duji from WMMS and WMJI's Mark Nolan.

"People across the community and the nation have been touched by this story, this miracle," said Rita Andolsen, WKYC Director of Advocacy & Community Initiatives.

"We decided to host this event to give the community a chance to celebrate the courage of Amanda, Gina and Michelle and to give people a way to show their support."


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