Survivors Helping Survivors to a Whole New Level
In reality, everyone at some point in their life should want to “give back.” We know this phrase gets tossed around a lot and it can mean different things to different people. For us at Route91Strong, “giving back,” means allocating our time to the less fortunate instead of writing checks. We take pride to “give back” by bringing together a unique set of people and skills to raise funds for those suffering from the aftermath of gun violence tragedies like what happened at the Route91 Harvest concert on October 1, 2017. For us, this is difficult because we are also all dealing with the same repercussions on our bodies both physical and mental as the survivors we help.
April 21, 2018, was perhaps the most remarkable example of “giving back” we have experienced since our non-profit started. We have indeed two individual heroes to thank. The first hero is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The second and even more impactful hero is Luca Iclodean. Luca was shot on October 1 at the Route 91 event. In the days following, a collection fund was established at the property to help Luca in his recovery. Because of those efforts, Team Members and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Management raised nearly $11,000.
When the property of the recovery funds informed Luca, he was overwhelmed from the support, so he told them to pay it forward since he had received so much support from family, friends and the community. He asked Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to ‘pay it forward’ and donate the funds directly to Route91Strong so that it could help others in need. The funds for the distribution were donated to Route91Strong by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas Team Members and Management in honor of their colleague and 1 October survivor, Luca Iclodean.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosted for us on this special day our Route91Strong family at the Vanity Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This venue enabled us to create a celebration of “giving back.” We invited some of our eligible local survivors to Las Vegas who have gone through our platform to receive donation checks to come and celebrate with Luca and us at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The funds from this donation affected eleven special survivors.
This evening we were also honored with a performance by Elvis Monroe, consisting of Bryan Hopkins and Ben Carey who performed a particular song, “The Fight.” This song was created for our first benefit event, held in last November in memory of this tragic mass shooting. It was such an inspiring night full of tears of joy and sorrow. Between the speeches and the remembrance, we could reflect and be thankful that our passionate cause is working to be able to provide hope, strength, and love and catch precious souls before they fall.
We have been blessed to have raised close to $70,000 so far affecting 30 lives. Just a fraction of the more likely than not 10,000 or more who are suffering from wounds both physical and mental like tremendous PTSD as a result of the tragic Route91 Harvest concert mass shooting in Las Vegas. We will continue on this journey to affect hundreds of thousands more across the US affected by gun violence by holding events and attracting donors who believe in our cause. Please join our cause and “give back.” We need not only money, but we need much in-kind help. It feels so good to not just do something for that one-time occasion that many understand and relate to as “giving back” but making it a lifestyle and perhaps lifetime effort.