A day after the tragedy in Orlando last Saturday night, local musician David Oliver Willis used music to express the community's collective sorrow.
Willis, a popular singer and songwriter from Mount Dora, said the lyrics to the song came to organically as he stood at the vigil in Orlando last Sunday.
"I was standing lakeside at Lake Eola at the vigil when the words kept running through my head. I had not even played it out loud ever before kneeling and seeing it at the vigil that night.." said Willis. "Shane, one of the victims of the shooting was a fellow performer in the Orlando area. Even more, having seen that Christina (Grimme), a contestant on "The Voice", was shot as well the night before was such a big shock for me.
He was referring to the singer who was killed at an Orlando club two days before the Pulse massacre. Willis was a two-time contestant on American Idol and performs frequently in Orlando and Mount Dora, so that was the first of the week's tragedies for him to try to process.
"After the initial shock of how those were in entertainment spaces where I spend the bulk of my time, you begin to look out and see how many people were hurt and affected. (It's) an attack on the LGBT community primarily, but one that vehemently rippled its way through the cores of all decently civilized human beings," said Willis. "I could not keep my mouth shut and I will not."
The lyrics of the heartfelt blues song are below and the link to his impromptu performance at the vigil is below them. Lyrics: There’s 50 cars left in the parking lot. 50 cars, [my lord ] There’s 50 mothers waiting at the door. There’s 50 mothers at the door. There’s 50 mothers waiting at the door. 50 mothers [my lord] There’s 50 roses picked by hate, There’s 50 roses picked by hate. There’s 50 roses plucked up by hate 50 roses [my lord] All we need is a little more love All we need [my lord] All we need [is a little more love.] All we need [my lord] There’s 50 homes turned into a house. There’s 50 homes my lord. There’s 50 homes turned into a house.50 homes [my lord] 50 homes [my lord] There’s 50 cars left in the parking lot. 50 cars [my lord] There’s 50 cars left in the parking lot 50 cars [my lord] 50 cars [my lord]
Here is the link to view Willis performing the song at the vigil: http://fusion.net/story/313696/american-idol-song-about-orlando-shooting/
To honor and support the victims of Sunday's tragic and senseless shooting in Orlando, First Presbyterian Church in Mount Dora is holding a community prayer vigil on Wednesday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The church is located at 222 W. 6th Avenue in downtown Mount Dora.
A community vigil to pay tribute and show support of the Orlando shooting victims is scheduled for this evening at St. Thomas Episcopal Church at 6:30 p.m. The vigil is open to everyone. The church is located at 317 S. Mary Street, Eustis
Local charities just got a lot more change in their piggy banks. The Amazing Race for Charity awarded more than $23,000 among twelve local charities on May 25.
The recipients included LifeStream Behavioral Center Foundation, Cornerstone Hospice, Boys & Girls Clubs, New Vision for Independence, Ruth House and others.
The group held the third annual Amazing Race for Charity last April.
"We challenge teams of two people on a five mile course across Eustis," said Race Director Tim Totten. "Along the way, they complete 20 or more challenges, all staffed by 300 volunteers from more than a dozen local charities."
"We are all volunteers," said Jill Baker, a board member and registered nurse. "We do it because we love it and because there's such a satisfaction you get when you present this kind of money to local charities doing work right in own back yards."
For Mary Salter, who accepted an $800 check for her charity, Abracadabra Foundation, the race is a chance to share her organization's message and secure needed funding.
"This impact of this event is greatly felt," says Mary, whose group seeks to impact the lives of economically- and social-challenged girls in area high schools. "We've already applied to volunteer for next year!" Eustis' 2017 race is scheduled for April 1, but charities hoping to benefit must turn in their applications before the June 10 deadline. Details can be found online at www.amazingraceforcharity.com
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