By now the student body of Mercer University has heard of Kim Murphy, junior soccer player whose parents passed away in February. For those who have not heard, Murphy’s father, Doug, passed away from an undetected stomach ulcer, followed by her mother, Cathy, passing due to a long battle with brain cancer. The response by students, campus organizations, and local businesses has been monumental and heart-warming. The most recent effort to help Murphy was hosted by the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity on April 10 at The Crazy Bull, a night club in downtown Macon.
The goal of the “Koncert for Kim” was to support Murphy and her sister as they attempt to reach financial stability. Five members of the fraternity sent out a Facebook invitation to nearly 800 students, expecting word of mouth to increase the turnout. Robertdale Brown, Kyle Holmes, Tony Perella, William Bates, Tash Van Dora, and Elliot West began planning back in February, as an immediate response to the horrific events.
For the “koncert,” ATO booked Jared Ashley, Jamie Davis, and Tash and the Boys. Mercer’s own Tash and the Boys, a self-proclaimed mesh of Southern rock and California surf rock, opened the show. Next Bluegrass performer Jamie Davis took the stage. The headliner for the night was Jared Ashley, a musician out of Nashville who appeared on “Nashville Star” in 2006.
ATO member and host of the concert said, “Let me start out by saying how incredible and inspiring this entire process has been.” He called the success of the event “a testament to not only Kim, but to the Mercer community as a whole.”
Hundreds of students stopped at the Crazy Bull between 8 pm and 2 am on Friday night to pay the $10 cover fee that went to support Kim. Said Brown, “Watching hundreds of people flock to the Bull on Friday night to support one of our own was eye-opening to say the least.” The fraternity was blown away by the turnout. “We never imaged Koncert for Kim would become what it did,” said Brown.
The profits from the event exceeded their expectations, raising nearly $7000. More than raising money, however, the concert showed Mercer’s dedication for caring for its own. “We showed Kim how much the Mercer community really does care about her,” said Brown, “and that in and of itself is a testament to Kim and who she is.”
The Koncert for Kim was a huge success, in addition to being a great event for the Macon community. Said Brown, “All in all, this was about Kim, and the success of the night proved that.”
To support Kim and her sister, two GoFundMe pages have been created. The first is http://www.gofundme.com/oi864w. For this fundraiser, created by Eric Balash, head student manager of the Duquesne Women’s soccer team, the players of the Duquesne Women’s soccer team promised to run 1000 stairs when they reached their mark of $1000. The fundraiser has currently raised just over $1300, and their new goal is to reach $1500 by April 27.
The second is http://www.gofundme.com/m0c3xo/, created by Kim’s aunt, Kimberly Cropp, and the Mercer women’s soccer team. This fundraiser has currently reached its goal of $35000, but is still open to donations.
An earlier Cluster article reported that the “father was the only source of income for the family, and due to her mother’s cancer, the family had defaulted on their insurance premiums.” The support for Kim and her sister does not have to end with the close of the concert in her honor.