Published: Mon, October 23, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Former presidents take stage at hurricane benefit concert

Former presidents take stage at hurricane benefit concert

About 11,000 people attended the concert, which was livestreamed on the One America Appeal YouTube channel, website and the organisation's Twitter feed, said Jim McGrath, a spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush as well as One America and the Bush Library.

All five of America's living former presidents took the stage Saturday at a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for victims of the hurricane-ravaged southern United States and Caribbean.

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Grammy award victor Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert.

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young helped to kick off the event, sharing with the crowd and viewers around the country his pride in seeing the university play a part of such a wide-reaching event.

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He's also thanking presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama - frequent subjects of his wrath- for helping to spearhead the effort, calling them "some of America's finest public servants".

Former President Bill Clinton evoked his predecessor in his statements as well, recalling the 41st president's reminder that "our problems are great, but the heart of America is greater". He and Melania Trump expressed gratitude for their "tremendous assistance". "And in a time of catastrophe, we all put our differences aside and we come together, 'cause we need each other, or we can't survive", she said. "I would go, yes", Carter said, explaining that he, like many, is "afraid, too, of a situation" sparked by the war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Shortly thereafter, all five ex-presidents appeared in a commercial for a fundraising effort known as "One America Appeal". Donations are coordinated through his foundation which says "100 cents of every dollar "donated will help hurricane victims, funds distributed through programs like the Houston Harvey Relief Fund and the Rebuild Texas Fund". "It's a confirmation to me of what is really so central to this university and has been for so long".

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Young announced $31 million had been raised since One America Appeal began its campaign on September 7, and Lady Gaga later said that she was donating an additional $1 million.

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