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Orchestra Concert Helps Tornado Victims

The annual Peoria Pops Orchestra Holiday Concert in Washington helps tornado victims get in to the holiday spirit.
WASHINGTON - Each year, the Peoria Pops Orchestra puts on a Christmas concert at Five Points in Washington.

But this time, it's a little different.

It's been two weeks since an EF-4 tornado took out parts of Tazewell County.

This year's concert became a way for tornado victims to get their minds in to the holiday spirit and off the storm.

"After the tornado, we decided to do whatever we could to make it a benefit for people," said orchestra President Dick Hawley.

Dennis Kunka took his family to the concert...and took a break from cleanup. He lost his house to the tornado.

"The tornado came through our street in devonshire, and it completely wiped it out," he said. "It is the first one I've been to with my family here in Washington. We were just looking for something to put us in the Christmas spirit after all that's happened with the tornado."

"This Christmas music, it is a lot of favorites that you hear every year, that you want to hear every year," he said. "All this money is going to the tornado relief fund, not us. We decided to open it up to all tornado victims, try to give them a day where they can sit back and enjoy something, rather than all the trauma they've been going through in the last two weeks."

" Everyday has been focused on cleanup and what you are going to do next. I thought, 'what a great way to get in to the Christmas spirit and relax and not think about the storm so much. "

The concert was free of charge.

That was due to an anonymous donor, who bought every single ticket.

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