Successful event validates the mission.
My first major fundraising event for JOHNNIE BE GOOD was a huge success and I’m very grateful for the response. After a week of doing radio and newspaper interviews to promote the event, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, several days before the event at the Argosy Casino in Alton, IL, Argosy marketing director Jim Fitzpatrick was worried about lagging ticket sales and that made me apprehensive. We had a packed house of over 300 people and the night was perfect. I started the evening with a music video featuring still photos of Johnnie. As best I could, I tried to explain what an amazing journey the past four years has been. I thanked the Argosy Casino staff, the Higher Education Channel of St. Louis, and the CALOP committee from University City for the two film grants I received. I showed a 23-minute sample reel of some of my best interviews and performances and the crowd responded with thunderous applause. I explained why I needed to raise money: licensing photos, music, video, and film and asked for help. Several people offered to hold fundraising parties in their homes. Some people donated money on the spot. I won’t know till later this week, but my guess is that between ticket sales, poster sales, and t-shirt sales, the documentary raised between $4000 and $5000 dollars.The Johnnie Johnson band took the stage with headliner Dona Oxford dazzling the audience with her keyboard work and singing. The band alternated between playing some of Johnnie’s best known songs, and songs from Dona’s new CD. Frances Johnson, Johnnie’s widow, and her daughters presented me with a framed copy of the letter of nomination that was key to Johnnie’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The original letter was signed by a Who’s Who of the music biz: Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Dick Clark, Little Richard, Rod Stewart, Bo Diddley, Bob Weir, among others. I was thanked repeatedly by Johnnie’s family and by the Johnnie Johnson Band members. It was a special day among many of the special days I’ve experienced because of this project. The karma of Johnnie Johnson continues to bring good fortune to JOHNNIE BE GOOD. Thanks to the hundreds of people who came out to support this project. Fifteen people signed up for email updates. Welcome to all of them.The journey continues…… Art HollidayDirector, JOHNNIE BE GOOD
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