Marathon concert marks end of recovery effort - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Marathon concert marks end of recovery effort

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Concerts continue for 72 straight hours. Concerts continue for 72 straight hours.
FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) -

Celebrations have kicked off in DeKalb County for the survivors of the 2011 tornadoes. The festivities include a 72-hour marathon of Christian entertainment in the Dogtown community.

The jubilation is to mark the end of the recovery effort. One house has work left to complete, some two and a half years after the deadly tornadoes.

More than 40 Christian bands are set to play in Dogtown. The concerts began Thursday at noon. The event is called "The Courage."

Organizers want the event to be a positive end to what started out as the most deadly outbreak of tornadoes in Alabama. Countless homes were damaged or destroyed. People were injured and lives were lost.

But the community pulled together, and thanks to many volunteers, the lives of many people are now whole again.

"We look back and see what all was accomplished and know we know that God had to do it. There's no way we, as human beings, could have done what was done in these two counties," said volunteer coordinator Roger Haney.

Volunteers are coming into town this weekend to complete the final home, which is located in Bridgeport. One volunteer came in from Ohio, and said he loved the area so much, he is now making Alabama his home.

"We've always felt we should help people and we never had the opportunity. Then when we did get the chance... it's just something in your heart that makes you want to help people," said Albert Little Jr.

The concert is as much to thank the survivors for their strength, just as much as to thank the volunteers. One tornado victim said he wouldn't have missed the event for the world.

"The Lord sent [the volunteers] to us because he knew that I wasn't capable of doing that, and we're so thankful for them. They made such a difference in the way we were able to recover from the tornado," said Carey Baker.

There will be plenty of room for anyone who wants to attend the event, and there is no charge to attend. The party and the music will not stop until Sunday at noon.

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