Houston Calling

10 Questions about “Rockin For Rise”

May 18th, 2005 · No Comments

This Saturday is the Rockin For Rise benefit concert at The Meridian. Bands from around the city will perform as part of the festivities.

Some of the bands scheduled to appear are Southern Backtones, Camino, Michael Haaga, Prognosis, Silverleaf, and The Hunger. It’s also one of (if not the) last change to see Absolute Pistol live before they move to Phoenix.

Rockin for Rise is an annual benefit concert — 100% of the proceeds go to The Rise School of Houston. Tickets are $20 presale and $25 at the door. See schedule here. The doors open at 2 p.m. and there will be 25 bands on 2 stages (this is an indoor event and all ages are welcome).

I recently asked Veronica Llanos-Butler of The Rise School (and local band Camino) a few questions about the Rockin For Rise event. She was gracious enough to respond. Enjoy.

Ten Questions about Rockin For Rise

HC: How did the idea for the “Rockin’ For Rise” benefit concert come about?

VB: A few years ago I was sitting out at Hard Rock Cafe watching some bands for a CD release party. I started to think about how cool it would be to have a benefit concert for Rise. I had heard about all of these huge benefits for other non-profit organizations across the country and figured if they can do let’s try it for Rise. I thought about it for a while, where to have it, how to put it together etc…came up with the name, then brought the idea to Rise and they said let’s go with it.

Our first year out we had it on a Thursday night out at Hard Rock Cafe, we had about 300 people come, an internet broadcast and were even recognized as an industry event and placed on Billboard’s Music Industry Calendar for 2004. The one complaint was that it was on a Thursday night. So it was a huge success and since then we’ve been able to change Rockin for Rise to a Saturday night, May 21st at The Meridian, we’ll have 20+ bands, 2 stages and have grown 5 times bigger, this being only our second year running!

HC: What is The Rise School and why do they need to raise funds?

VB: The Rise School of Houston is a 501(c)(3) non-profit preschool for children with developmental disabilities ages 6 months to 6 years. We do not take any money from the state and are strictly run off of donations, grants and fundraisers. It costs over $1,000,000 a year to run The Rise School and we try to keep cost to the parents to a minimum by offering scholarships and financial assistance. So this is the reason The Rise School has fundraisers.

HC: I recently ran in the 5K to help benefit the Rise School. How successful do you think that event was? Looked like a fair number of people there to me…

VB: Yes, our 5K Rise and Shine Walk and Run was a lot of fun and a huge success. This was our second year and had about 2,200 runners, an increase of 1,200 from last year, wonderful sponsors and great overall support from the City of Houston and the Houston community itself.

HC: There’s a lot of local bands participating in Rockin For Rise. Who picked the bands for the event?

VB: Yes we do have a lot of local bands this year. The way it works is bands can submit a press kit to Rockin for Rise, information on how to submit can be found on our website (2006 information will be up around August or September). It is reviewed and based on submissions, the lineup is selected. This year we had over 200 press kits submitted from all over the world. We of course had local and regional bands, but then we also had bands from all over the U.S., bands from Canada, Mexico — and even Russia and Yugoslavia! So it was really exciting to see how the word about our event has spread.

HC: What is the ultimate goal of the Rise School?

VB: Ultimately, The Rise School wants to prepare children for any learning environment while meeting the needs of the families and children, using a combination of developmentally appropriate curriculum interactions and consultative therapeutic services.

HC: How can people get tickets? Will they be available at The Meridian?

VB: Tickets are on sale right now presale tickets are $20 and can be purchased through ticketmaster.com, The Meridian, The Rise School, Hooters on Kirby and at the Scout Bar. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event for $25. Again 100% of all the proceeds will go to The Rise School.

HC: There will be door prizes for a few lucky ticket holders. What can you tell me about that?

VB: We have some great door prizes. The 1st ticket holder through the door will get a prize pack worth over $1000, 2nd ticket holder will get a prize pack worth $500 and the 3rd will get a prize pack worth $150. After that the first 100 people will get gift bags with lots of cool things from CDs to t-shirts.

HC: Do you need volunteers? How should they get involved?

VB: For the event this year we have volunteers covered, however we are always looking for volunteers as well as donors, sponsors and bands for future events. If you are interested please contact me at therapy@riseschool.org. Furthermore, we also love having volunteers up at Rise. If you are interested in coming to volunteer, please call the school (713-532-7473) and let us know and they will tell you what you need to do.

HC: Do you have a favorite story about something that’s happened while you’ve been working at the Rise School?

VB: Let’s see I’ve been at Rise for 5 years now and I can honestly say I have a favorite moment/ story for each and every child that I have seen. Overall, my favorite “story” is simply seeing our children growing up and thriving on all the new challenges that come their way. I truly feel blessed to be at Rise. I get to work and ‘play’ with these amazing children that inspire me in ways I never imagined.

HC: What are you listening to these days?

VB: Hmm. That’s a tough one. Honestly, I’ve been listening to mainly locals bands lately–too many to name, but we have some great talent in Houston! As far as CDs, well I’ve got The Cure Greatest Hits, Bob Schneider, Beth Hart, Rusted Root, Pixies and Ani Difranco in my player right now…It’s always changing.

Thanks to Veronica for taking the time to answer the questions for Houston Calling. Please be sure to get your tickets and come out on Saturday to support two great causes — local music and the Rise School.

Now Playing in My iPod: Josh Rouse — Nashville

Tags: Music