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The generosity of the La Crosse community was on display Thursday at the Fight the Flood relief concert at the Oktoberfest grounds.

Hundreds came out Thursday afternoon to hear the Merry Weathers — just one of 20 acts that joined the 12-hour musical event to raise funds for those who suffered losses in the recent flooding. Other performers included Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Bill Miller, TUGG, Heatbox and Reed Grimm.

Organizers hoped to raise $150,000.

Other Driftless Area residents turned out to support their neighbors Sept. 8 at the Flood Relief Fundraiser concert held at Viroqua’s Historic Temple Theatre. Ticket sales, drinks, food, merchandise and monetary donations totaled more than $42,000.

Plans for the distribution of those monies are already set, and the nine most affected communities of the recent flooding — determined by damage reports — have been targeted for assistance. Those include the ZIP codes of Chaseburg, Coon Valley, rural Westby, La Farge, Ontario, Readstown, Viola, Soldiers Grove and Gays Mills.

Potential recipients can fill out a one-page application to receive a $400 cash grant. It is the intention to disburse funds to more than 100 families and businesses in the affected region.

“Many more people are expected to apply,” according to Charlie Knower, chair of the ad hoc committee charged with the distribution of funds. “If someone does not receive a grant, it does not mean they do not deserve it; it simply means there is a limited supply of money.”

Applications for the grants have been distributed to key personnel in each community at village and town halls, libraries, churches, community centers and other such community gathering places. Applications are also available from and at where donations are still being accepted.

Deadline for return of the applications is 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24. Applications should be returned to or via mail to 2018 Flood Relief Fund, 314 Minshall Ave., Viroqua, WI 54665. Questions about the application can be directed to the email address or via phone at 608-637-6110.

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Entertainment and county government reporter

Randy Erickson covers arts and entertainment and county government for the La Crosse Tribune. Contact him at 608-791-8219 or

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