PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It has been a busy 24 hours for Pittsburghers raising money.
Billy Hartung is one of the many performers who were part of the Roots of Steel benefit concert Thursday night. The Mt. Lebanon native and former professional singer sang a duet with his 19-year-old daughter.
“The reason that we are singing is it is for everyone else — and she understands that too. We are going to share our love of song and our love of community,” Hartung said.
Advance sales for the Roots of Steel show topped $54,000 Thursday night.
Less than 12 hours later, a local company gave money raised from the sale of “Stronger Than Hate” T-shirts to the Tree of Life Synagogue and the shooting survivors.
“This is going to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is going to Washington state — or it was going to Greenfield,” said Anne Barasch.
She and her husband Larry own 123shirt.com, one of the companies that printed “Stronger Than Hate” shirts after the shooting. She remembers how their son, David, would say, “’Why do you have to tell me where it’s going?’ Because I think it’s interesting. It’s not just Pittsburgh. It’s everywhere.”
At the Jewish Community Center, the Barasch family handed Rabbi Jeffrey Myers a check for $18,000 in honor of their uncle, Judah Samet. He survived the Holocaust and the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, where he attends faithfully.
“You can’t do much for the people who are buried,” said Samet. “But, you got things, whatever you could to make sure that the synagogues are safe, that this doesn’t happen again.”
In accepting the check, Rabbi Myers said, “On behalf of Tree of Life congregations, we accept this very generous gift–knowing that it can provide some comfort to all those who have suffered.”
“Stronger Than Hate” shirts printed by companies like 123shirt.com seem to be everywhere — even at fancy events like Roots of Steel.
Larry Barasch has a feeling why they have been bought by people across the globe.
“All the communications that we have had with people, literally with people all around the world have shown that the reach of Pittsburgh — because it is really an international city — the reach that came from this was incredible,” he said.
Just like the Pittsburghers who went to great lengths to help after the tragedy.