If You Knew Me, You'd Love Me: The Ripple Effect

If You Knew Me, You'd Love Me: The Ripple Effect

From Virginia Gracen

The Ripple Effect has been invited to sing in a holiday concert at Carnegie Hall, and we're making a tour of the trip with additional "If You Knew Me, You'd Love Me" concert stops. Help us raise funds to get to New Y...

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When I first moved to Michiana, I had no friends, no partner, no job, no church, no meaningful activities.  Within my first month here, however, I was recruited to a newly forming group, "The Ripple Effect," and found myself singing tenor with a quirky and loving bunch of individuals from many different backgrounds.  We weren't sure what would come of the whole thing.  We just knew we each enjoyed singing and believed music could bring people together.  

That was 5 years ago.  Since then, The Ripple Effect has grown in size and scope.  We've doubled our number of singers, and we've performed in 73 concerts for audiences ranging from 40 people to over 9,000 people.  We've developed an annual signature event, "If You Knew Me, You'd Love Me," which combines our music with the personal stories of local community members, typically those who have been misunderstood and marginalized.  In recent years, we've taken that concert on tour to other communities, inviting people from different towns and cities throughout the region to share their own stories.  In fact, it was at one such concert that I met my wife!  In addition to our fall "If You Knew Me" event, we perform an annual spring Earth Day concert, an annual summer Christmas in June concert, and miscellaneous local gigs throughout the year. 

Being part of The Ripple Effect has given me a sense of purpose and belonging in my time here in Michiana.  As I prepare to move away, I am sad about leaving the group, but I'm excited for one last opportunity to perform with them: This upcoming December, The Ripple Effect will be traveling to New York as invited singers for a holiday concert at Carnegie Hall, and they've agreed I should come back to join them for this last hurrah.  We'll perform a few other concerts along the way, taking advantage of the trip eastward to continue spreading our message of love and bridge-building.  Our invitation to sing in New York was recently covered by The Goshen News.

The costs for this trip are substantial: tour bus, hotel stays, fees, and more. We've been fundraising through sales and auctions, our annual chili cookoff, and special concerts.  I won't be able to help with the remaining local fundraisers, so I am asking for help from you.  

How to you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice - And seek love and support from friends and family.

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