CLEVELAND - The brutal Facebook murder of an elderly man rocked the world and the local community.
A fundraiser Tuesday night for the children of Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland Heights used music to help folks come together and raise money for his children, organizers said.
“What we’re trying to do… is actually create that closure,” Michelle Mathis, who goes by Ms. Micki on the internet radio station VoiceITRadio, said Tuesday. “This didn’t just happen to the family… this happened to the city.”
Mathis is a host on VoiceITRadio’s morning show “Hot Mess in the Morning." She's also the Vice President of Operations for the internet channel.
Godwin’s killing by Steve Stephens sent shock waves throughout the Cleveland community.
Police said Stephens chose Godwin at random on the east-side of Cleveland.
Stephens then uploaded the gruesome event for the world to see.
Mathis says one of Godwin’s 10 children, Tonya Godwin, called into the internet radio show.
“It’s not just a local Cleveland thing,” Tonya said.
“We were in the studio… just trying to pull it in from crying and what not… it was hard to deal with,” Mathis said.
The music scene pulled together and decided to use Tuesday’s event to benefit Godwin’s children. Two are young, eight and ten, according to Godwin’s sister Ruby Godwin-Fisher.
“I couldn’t even understand… how do you even tell the children?” Mathis asked.
The event at B-Side Liquor and Arcade Lounge in Cleveland Heights charged a minimum $5 donation at the door.
Errol Porter, General Manager of VoiceITRadio said all donations would be turned over to the family at the end of the evening.
Channel 3 reached out to Godwin-Fisher, who said she recently became aware of today's event.
The event organizers expected community leaders, singers, poets, musicians, rappers, MCs, and
activists for the event official titled “A ‘JUST CAUSE’ Fundraising event for the Robert Godwin Children.”
Some of Godwin’s grandchildren were also expected to perform during a ‘open mic’ session beginning at 9p.m.
“The whole music, entertainment community here in Cleveland… just wanted to come together to do something great,” Porter said.
Porter tells WKYC’s Hilary Golston Michael Dantzler, Owner of Boastful Minds Productions, that he had been putting on an event for 13 years and decided that instead they could use the occasion to benefit the Godwin family.
Dantzler also says it was an opportunity to highlight the mental health struggles many experience, but may go unresolved. “He was crying out for help when he did this act,” Dantzler said of Stephens. “I just think about how many people… or even myself where you don’t have anyone that you talk to… a large part of this for me was raising awareness.”