Benefit concert raises money for fire departments and EMS

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"We were given 15 minutes to get out of the house, get what we could and leave."

Jim Graves is talking about a pasture fire that almost burned down his home last summer in Johnston county.

He says 11 fire departments, Johnston County EMS and the county's emergency management helped get the flames under control. While Graves was grateful he felt like saying "thank you" wasn't enough.

"I thanked everyone that I could find over the next few days, and I told my wife, 'This feels so inadequate just to say thank you,'" said Graves.

Which is why Graves organized this benefit. For five dollars, concert-goers got to enjoy country music and were entered into a raffle for a chance to win a big screen TV as well as gift certificates to area stores.

Graves hoped to fill this 780 seat auditorium, but for Wapanucka fire chief Gary Reeder any support is music to his ears.

"The appreciation that this gentleman's given to all of us is way beyond belief that we could ever think of," said Reeder.

The music notes send a message of thanks for what Graves said firefighters and emergency workers do everyday.

"These people are at their best when everything's at it's worst," he said. "And that pretty much tells it like it is."

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