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Five Former US Presidents Join Forces at Relief Concert Saturday

  • VOA News

Former Presidents from right, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter place their hands on their heart for the national anthem at the opening of a hurricanes relief concert in College Station, Texas, Oct. 21, 2017. All five former U.S. presidents joined to support a Texas concert raising money for relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria's devastation.

All five living former U.S. presidents are attending a fundraising concert Saturday to benefit the victims of hurricanes that ravaged homes in the United States and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands in recent months.

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter are attending the concert in College Station, Texas, Saturday. The show known as "Deep from the Heart: the One America Appeal" will take place at Reed Arena at Texas A&M University.

President Donald Trump will not attend the event, but will appear by video to thank people who have contributed to the relief effort.

In the video, Trump vows that the United States will recover stronger and better than it was before.

In addition to the hurricanes, record-breaking wildfires have ravaged the communities of Northern California, leaving thousands more people homeless.

The organization of ex-presidents is known as the One America Appeal. The office of George H.W. Bush announced on Saturday that the organization has already raised $31 million in tax-deductible private funds from more than 80,000 donors.

Damage estimates from just the hurricanes are already topping $300 billion, the statement says, and recovery is expected to take months and years of rebuilding.

The statement says One America has already distributed nearly $13 million to five designated funds: the Florida Disaster Fund, the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, the Fund for the Virgin Islands, and Juntos y Unidos por Puerto Rico.

The concert is expected to feature performances by Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Moore, Yolanda Adams and the group Alabama. Country singer Lee Greenwood, known for his hit "God Bless the U.S.A.," is expected to emcee the event.

The five former presidents have been working together to raise money for hurricane victims since Hurricane Harvey struck the heart of Texas in September. Since then, Hurricane Irma raked through Puerto Rico and Florida, and Hurricane Maria struck a second blow to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Concert organizers say the proceeds from the concert will be collected and distributed through various organizations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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