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'From Iowa With Love' music festival raises money for Ukraine

Sunday's event featured nine local musical acts from across Iowa.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — What happens when nine local artists join up for a concert? You get one incredible show.

The "From Iowa With love" festival Sunday was all to benefit the people of Ukraine, using some music from the heartland to bring help and hope all the way across the ocean.

Iowans came out to the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines for a day packed with live folk, rock and blues performances, all from local Iowa artists.

But there was a lot more to the show than that. The performers were all brought together under a common cause: raising money for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

"This is just our way of being able to communicate to our local community here about how much we believe that it's important to support the Ukrainian people," said Heath Alan, co-director of the festival.

The idea for the concert came from Lee Rood. Tickets to get in were a minimum $10 donation to the cause, through the nonprofit USA for UNHCR. 

Steve Berry, lead singer in the band "Stark Raving Madge", performed at the benefit, and told Local 5 he practically jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the show.

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"When we're called to step up with a great cause like this, musicians of central Iowa come together and do what's right. We have a fun time doing it, but we know the stakes that are involved," Berry said.

Those high stakes came on the heels of a difficult few years for many performing artists across the country. For those same bands, their willingness to donate their time did not go unnoticed. 

"It's not been easy over the last few years, as you can imagine, for musicians, so they didn't have worked for a long time. So to have people volunteer their time really shows character," Alan said.

That generosity didn't end there: all of the musicians and sponsors at the festival either waived their fees to perform or helped cover the event's expenses.

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