John McDermott, a environmental engineering major, felt inspired to organize the inaugural Gem City Jam that will benefit the Glen Helen Nature Preserve located in Yellow Springs, OH.
The Glen Helen Nature Preserve was funded by Antioch College until it closed in June 2008.
After visiting the Glen Helen Nature Preserve and hearing about the loss of funding, McDermott decided he wanted to do his best to help raise money to keep the Preserve from closing its doors.
“I felt compelled to do something to raise a lot of money for Glen Helen Nature Preserve, so I created ‘Gem City Jam,'” McDermott.
McDermott said he’s been planning the event since last September. The Gem City Jam is being sponsored by Orion Organics, who McDermott said helped make this festival possible.
Adrienne Chesire, the Marketing and Development Coordinator for Glen Helen Nature Preserve, is volunteering with the event.
“I was just blown away by what I heard,” said Chesire of McDermott’s interest in doing something to raise money for Glen Helen Nature Preserve. “We were honored.”
Chesire, who is also the head of the fund raising efforts for Glen Helen Nature Preserve, said she wanted to help McDermott in any way possible in coordinating the benefit concert. With this being the first Gem City Jam, Chesire said her expectations are in the air but she believes that the turnout could be big.
“I don’t really know what to expect,” Chesire said. “I think this thing can be huge.”
McDermott has a ballpark figure of what he expects for the turnout.
“I’m looking for a thousand people to be there, at least,” McDermott said.
McDermott, who’s a vegetarian and avidly rides the bus, said he’s always had a connection with the environment.
“What drew me to the environment is honestly, I’m in love with nature,” he said.
“That’s my first love.”
Before attending Sinclair Community College this past fall, McDermott attended Chaminade Universtiy in Honolulu, HI which he claims enhanced his relationship with nature.
“They have deserts, mountains, rainforests, the ocean, plains, they have everything; every kind of ecosystem in Hawaii,” McDermott said. “After that, I was like, ‘that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to save beautiful places like this.'”
Gem City Jam will be held at the Garden Station on the corner 4th Street and Wayne Avenue on April 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on April 25 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets will be $10 and are available for purchase at www.ticketcenterstage.com/gcj.