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Punk Rockers Help Raise Money For Music Education At Chinatown Elementary School

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Not a fan of punk? Think it's too loud? This fundraiser sells earplugs at the door. (credit: KNX 1070's Claudia Peschiutta)

Not a fan of punk? Think it’s too loud? This fundraiser sells earplugs at the door. (credit: KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta)

CHINATOWN (CBSLA.com) — Punk rockers on Sunday threw a benefit concert to raise money for music education at a Chinatown elementary school.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports this concert was far from a typical school benefit. In fact, they sell earplugs at the door.

There are kids running around. And cookies and coffee for sale.

“Like I want to have a fundraiser, but some people thought but where are the kid going to play? How cute.  I was like, no. I didn’t want to hear the kids playing. I’d rather drive nails into my ears before I’d hear that show,” says parent Martin Wong.

The father of a kindergartner at Castelar Elementary says what got him to start organizing these Save Music in Chinatown concerts was a letter from his daughter’s school.

“She started kindergarten this year and in the first week we got this letter and it said, ‘Can you help us raise $50,000 bucks to pay for our music program?’ And wow, I figured Chinatown, public school? I figured there is no way the families around here could pay for that. There are a lot of immigrants. They’re people who work in restaurants and sewing shops, where is that money going to come from?”

So Wong got his music fundraiser idea.

“I love punk rock, and there are all these culture overlapping but they never really contact each other,” Wong says.

This latest show — the second — was held at the Human Resources Gallery and brought out rockers, including Hector Penalosa of The Zeros.

“I wouldn’t say I’m like a Robin Hood of music,” laughs Penalosa, “But if these children need help and if the school needs help, I’ll be the first one to help”

The first show raised about $5,000 and Wong hopes the concerts will continue to grow.

“My daughter, she’s in kindergarten. So she is going to be there for the next five years. This is fun, this is a lot of fun,” says Wong.

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