Members of the community came out to show their support Wednesday for local victims of the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, as well as their families.
The Bakersfield Fox Theater hosted the special fundraising concert, which included words from Mayor Karen Goh as well as performances from musicians including Aaron Perlman and Stereo Citizen.
Radio stations across the city, as well as the Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation, helped create and organize the event.
“We’re constantly seeing stuff that divides us. It’s everywhere, and my idea was why don’t we find something that would unite us, something that would go beyond our differences?” said Matt Pelishek with Life FM 88.3. “We just want to be here to show support. Thank you all for being here.”
Goh said the name of the event itself sums up its meaning.
“Bakersfield Together. Those two words are words of who we truly are as people,” she said. “Today, Bakersfield joins the families of all the victims and say, ‘We care. We’re here for you. We’re grieving with you. We’re crying with you.'”
Goh said sometimes words are not enough to express how we feel, and oftentimes music can fill that void.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music,” she said. “Let us unite today under the umbrella of music. Those words that cannot be spoken, let music express those so that Bakersfield, together, we unite in love.”
Members of Bailey Schweitzer’s family showed up to the concert, along with the friends and families of other victims. Scott, Schweitzer’s father, expressed his thanks to the community for putting on and coming out to the event.
“It’s very special to see the way the community is rallying to support all the victims of this tragedy,” he said. “We’re just honored that people came out to show their respects for Bailey.”
Schweitzer said part of the reason why he and his wife, Crissy, attended was to meet with the families of other victims.
“That was really important to us,” he said. “It’s been a long day for us, but we knew we were going to be able to meet them here, and that’s one of the main reasons we came.”
Schweitzer said seeing how the community has responded means a lot to the family.
“It really touches our heart,” he said. “It’s kinda bittersweet that it takes a tragedy like this for everyone to pool together, but the bottom line is that they did and they’re here for all the victims. We’re just so happy that we’re able to attend. We will never be able to thank them enough for what they’ve done for us.”