VENTURA (CBSLA) — A star-studded group of musicians and artists took to the stage Saturday night all for a good cause.
Make that a great cause — helping victims of December’s devastating Thomas Fire — the blaze destroyed more than 1,000 structures and scorched more than 281,893 acres.
Hundreds were left without homes, many others left with just the clothes on their backs.
In response to the devastation, community groups, organizers, fund-raisers and activists put their heads together.
The Thomas Fire Benefit was held this evening in downtown Ventura and KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen said “help” was the mission of the night.
Performers scheduled to perform throughout the evening included: Olivia Newton-John, Colbie Caillat, Kevin Costner & Modern West, KYLE, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Rob Write, and Zon Candela.
Ventura resident Chris Cairns lost his home in the fire.
“We had about 15 minutes to throw stuff in the car. Grab the dogs the cats,” he said.
And that is why bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performed,
Caillat performed her hit “Lucky” – with her fiancé, musician Justin Young.
The singer told Nguyen – 805, the Ventura County area code is special to her.
“My number is 805. I was born and raised out here. All my family is from out here. And lives out here,” she said.-
But the headliner was Kevin Costner and his band.
The Oscar-winner was evacuated from his home during the fire. He also grew up here.
“I went to junior high with Kevin Costner. People like this they come back and do this and it makes you even more proud of them,” said Joel Nussman, a Ventura resident.
For Dale Muegenburg. the past couple of months have been heavy because she’s had to deal with the trying to rebuild her life after losing her home.
So the concert was a much needed break.
“This is the first time I’ve danced. Singing. Dancing. Really hanging out with my friends,” she said.
And while she and Cairns both lost their homes, they say it was important for them to show up and donate to help their neighbors rebuild.
For residents, this isn’t just about Ventura Strong — It’s Ventura Kind.
“There’s a lot of people who lost everything and might not get that back. So we’re really grateful to be a part of that and want to help out as well,” said Cairns.
Organizers said seven thousand tickets were sold for the show and they raised $700,000 — from donations and ticket sales alone. There’s more in the coffers — raised from sales of food and drink also going to the relief effort.