Local News

Raleigh neighborhood hosts benefit concert for tornado victims

Posted May 1, 2011 8:36 p.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2011 8:40 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh condominium community partnered with the Red Cross Sunday to host a benefit concert for victims of the April 16 tornadoes. 

Raleigh soul-funk-rock group The Soul Psychedelique headlined the concert, with supporting acts Peanut Butter and Jealous, Otherwise Normal Citizens and Instruments of Justice lending their talents for a good cause. The concert was at the Caraleigh Mills Condominium Community from 4 to 8 p.m.

The Caraleigh and Fuller Heights neighborhoods in south Raleigh – near South Saunders Street and inside the beltline – were devastated by the powerful storms that raked the region last month. 

James Finch suffered a significant amount of damage to his property during the tornado, but for him, the real tragedy struck days later.

His 71-year-old wife, Margie, collapsed in the middle of the night three days after the storm and never woke up. 

"I got the EMS out here to help me get her up off the floor cause I couldn't pick her up and he walked in here and said, 'Nothing we can do; she's dead,'" Finch said.

Finch's wife did have some health issues, including diabetes, but Finch said paramedics told him the stress of the storm was likely to blame for her death.

"She was my friend. She was my buddy. She was my sidekick," he said. "I'll probably be grieving a long time."

The house Finch shared with his wife has been deemed unsafe by building inspectors and though he is trying to pick up the pieces and put his life and his home back together, he said he can't take his mind off of Margie.

Stories like Finch's are exactly the reason the community organized the concert, said Kyle Eckenrode, president of the Caraleigh Mills Homeowner's Association.

"That's probably the worst one we've heard of and it's really sad that it ended up that way," he said.

All proceeds will go to the Red Cross's cleanup efforts in the neighborhood.