Editorial: Concerts could benefit economy
Port Clinton News Herald
Published February 9th, 2005
Great Lakes Aid -- a planned series of concerts in U.S.
and Canadian cities to raise money for environmental projects
to benefit the lakes -- will be an opportunity for area
residents to get involved in helping to protect Lake Erie.
And, it could be an exciting opportunity for communities
to become involved in satellite support programs that
feed off the core entertainment and, as a result, encourage
tourism while helping the environment.
Organizers would like to see annual concerts hosted on
a rotating basis by five large Great Lakes cities -- Toronto,
Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Buffalo, N.Y. The group
hopes to raise $2 million a year to improve and maintain
The local money can be used to attract more federal and
state grants, backers say.
And, the events could grow into true attractions for
visitors both in the core cities and in communities that
plan related events.
Picture a concert in Port Clinton or on the Islands as
part of a Great Lakes Aid celebration that both promotes
the great natural resource that we have and helps us to
enjoy it. Simultaneous events or a series of events could
put a spotlight on the environmental issues of the lakes
and on the area as a tourist attraction. And they could
provide seed money to help address those problems and,
as a result, contribute to making the area more healthy
for residents and more attractive to visitors.
Officials say it's too early to talk about what bands
and artists may participate, although some performers
have already expressed an interest in the project. Many
entertainers are greatly interested in the environment
and some undoubtedly would be willing to donate their
talents for the early concerts.
If the effort gains momentum, it may no longer be necessary
for entertainers to donate their talents.
The George Gund Foundation in Cleveland has given the
steering committee $10,000 in seed money, which the group
hopes will help it find donors and sponsors for the $100,000
likely needed to develop the first concert next year.
The steering committee includes representatives from Canadian
and U.S. communities and environmental groups. It plans
to incorporate the foundation.
The effort will be worth watching and considering for