Gem City Shine Google Images Photo

Jordan Pyle, Staff Writer

American stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle hosted a benefit concert and block party in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday, August 25, from four P.M. to ten P.M. to support and raise money for the victims of the mass shooting on August fourth. Almost $70,000 was raised for the Oregon District Tragedy Fund. The concert was free to all attendees. Though the concert was free, tickets were required to get into the concert. The tickets were available online but required no payment. People in attendance were encouraged to enjoy the concert and the moment instead of filming on phones or other devices.

The event, Gem City Shine, provided food as well as entertainment. Gem City Shine was a weapon-free event with metal detectors set up at the gates. Chappelle brought in numerous celebrities to perform at the event. Artists performing at Gem City Shine were Stevie Wonder, Chance the Rapper, Talib Kweli, Teyana Taylor, and Thundercat. The show sold out, and police estimated 30,000-35,000 people in attendance.

During the event, Chappelle told the crowd, “The best way we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before. We won’t let those people die in vain. We’re not just doing this for our city, we’re doing it for every victim of every mass shooting in our country.”

The event’s name stems from Dayton’s nickname, Gem City. The origin of the nickname is uncertain. Chappelle grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio, about twenty miles from Dayton. Chappelle said that in Dayton it, “Turns out you don’t need $50 million to live around these parts, just a nice smile and a kind way about you. You guys are the best neighbors ever. That’s why I came back, and that’s why I’m staying.”

Dayton Mayor, Nan Whaley, called August 25 “Dave Chappelle Day” because of the event he put together for the community. Whaley also said, “Dave Chappelle is such a generous human, it was great for him to champion the city in this way.”

Whaley attended and spoke at Gem City Shine. She told the crowd, “Dayton, the world is watching, and they heard your call to do something.” Whaley later told reporters, “I hope that we become the city that changed the way gun violence is dealt with in this country. That this is the city that the turn happened. This is the city where we see change in Washington and change in Columbus.”

“Just seeing the sheer number of people who had come together was the most amazing thing,” Whaley said.

Chappelle brought Whaley on the stage, and she told the crowd, “Dayton changed the world once; we can change it again!”

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