SHEFFIELD, Ala. — The Shoals showed up and showed out in the best way, with live music. It was for a benefit concert at Riverfront Park to support the family of fallen Sheffield Police Sergeant Nick Risner.
Award-winning country music group Shenandoah quickly organized the concert as a way to give back to Sgt. Risner’s family in their time of need.
“They need to be able to focus on what they need to do and that is about them, themselves getting better in the grief that they’ve been in for the last little bit,” Shenandoah lead singer Marty Raybon said.
Raybon said after the tragic loss of Sgt. Risner, the last thing the family should have to worry about are bills and other expenses.
Raybon added that the concert coming together as quickly as it did is a reflection of the heart of the Shoals community.
“I knew good and well all I’d have to do was make a few phone calls,” Raybon said. “That’s just the way people are here. That’s the way we help one another.”
Those few phone calls assembled an award-winning team of outstanding musicians, who also call The Shoals home, like Travis Wammack, Gary Baker, and Lenny LeBlanc.
The concert itself was free but donations were encouraged at the gate.
“It’s not even about the musicians or anything like that,” Raybon explained. “There’s been all kind of help that we’ve been offered. We’ve been offered food, ‘What do y’all need to drink down there, man? We’ll bring water, Coca Cola, whatever, man; we’ll bring coolers down there, whatever you need.’ It’s just folks wanting to do everything in the world they can to express the gratitude of what this event is, and the gratitude toward Officer Risner.”
If you weren’t able to attend the concert, donations are also accepted virtually on a GoFundMe page. As of 7:30 Tuesday evening, that GoFundMe had raised a little more than $34,000.