Last month Blaine Barry, an intern on our Student Ministry staff, died of brain cancer. His small group includes Chuck Russell and Traci Bazzelle of our staff. They helped organize a group of volunteers to work at Kansas City’s new downtown arena, selling merchandise at the Hannah Montana concert on Monday night, to benefit Blaine’s family, which is left with a lot of medical and funeral expenses.
After waffling a week or two, I finally stepped up and volunteered, not having any idea what sort of adventure awaited. My kids are too old for Hannah Montana to be on my radar. (Before Monday night the only thing I knew about her stemmed from the national news media’s coverage of the the controversy surrounding ticket sales for her concerts.) I knew nothing of the TV show, her music, or anything. For example, did you know that Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus are the same person? I could go on and on telling you the things I learned Monday night, but I’ll spare you that!
I was assigned to selling programs and other little stuff at a cash only station. I personally grossed approximately $2,300 for the night. At one point I had $2,000 in cash on me, which kind of freaked me out because it’s the most cash I’ve ever had in my possession at one time. The retail manager of the arena said he expected to gross $400,000 on merchandise. From the experience of our group, we’d guess he beat that number. Add in ticket sales and concessions and you’re up to something in the neighborhood of $1.4 million gross for the entire event. Does that seem a bit out of control to you?
The people I interacted with were well behaved, excited to be there, and seemed to be having a great time. In a small way, I was part of the Hannah phenomenon while serving the community and benefiting Blaine’s family. Not bad for a night’s work.