SPENCER — Shane. Tyler. Megan. Seth.
The names and photos of those who died earlier than their time seemed to float by endlessly Sunday as dozens of relatives and friends listened to music and watched the large screen filled with memorials during the 12th annual Voices of Hope concert.
Tracey Myers said a friend told her about the concert, which included 21 solo or group singers and nearby children’s games.
“It’s just good to come out and be a part of something like this in the community,” she said. “My brother lost a child really young. I feel like people just need to have concerts or days like this. It just helps people heal.”
That’s what Lori Yang hopes the concert does.
Lori and her husband, Steve, started the Michael Yang Foundation in 2001 after their son, Michael, died. The concert came about as a way of remembering him.
“Each year it becomes less about me and more for everybody else,” Lori said Sunday. “I just want it to be a day that would help someone with their grief. I also want it to be a day where others kind of reflect on life and the beauty of it and be thankful for things.”
The Michael Yang Foundation primarily supports Circle of Hope, a parents’ grief support group. When Michael died, there was no local group.
The group meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at 2290 Statesville Blvd. There is no fee for counseling services.
Adam Broyles was one of the performers Sunday, singing several songs, one of which he wrote specifically for Voices of Hope.
Broyles, who has sung at each Voices of Hope concert, told the crowd he was bullied in school and encouraged young listeners to not give up or give in to bullies.
“I want to help them anyway I can because I had no help,” Broyles said after. “And I don’t want them to suffer like I did.”
Along with live music, the concert featured an inflatable slide, face painting and other games for kids.
Kylie Kluttz, a volunteer and member of Carson High’s leadership team, squinted in the sun as she filled in the stripes on 7-year-old Alanna Brown’s tiger face Sunday afternoon.
“It’s great that a community comes out and does stuff like this,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.