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Freshman rallies community with A Concert for Alayna

September 11, 2013 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

A 14-year-old girl has organized a benefit 'donations appreciated' concert with over 25 performers and 15 vendors in the hopes of helping another local girl battle leukemia.

Jackie Priebe, LOHS freshman, got the idea while singing to the crowd at the Wildwood Music Festival earlier this summer, telling her mom "we can do this for Alayna."

"Music can change lives, and I think it would be cool for her to know that all these people will play for her, and this concert is for her, and I think it will help her hang in there," Jackie said.

The upcoming concert is at the Wildwood Pavilion inside the Civic Center Park September 21, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Jackie was supposed to give Alayna guitar lessons this summer, but Alayna was diagnosed with leukemia July 2. Immediately afterward she started chemotherapy. Not far behind that her body reacted with an intense infection, and Alayna is currently at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Her best friend's little sister, Alyana tagged along at Girl Scouts meetings and birthday parties and has had a connection with Jackie most of the girls' lives.

The idea has exploded on Facebook with the creation of a fan page titled Concert for Alayna. Students, parents, business owners, idea enthusiasts, and kids have offered their positive energy through postings, thoughts, prayers and donation-creating ideas for Alayna's family.

Some girls offered to braid hair for donations. A group of boys are selling lemonade. A bake sale has bakers from multiple families bringing homemade cookies, brownies and other treats. We3&She, a local band performing at the upcoming concert, has offered to do a face painting/hairstyle booth. There are jewelry tents, a wine party planning tent, and apparel tents, as well as local businesses Buffalo Wild Wings and Starbucks and a cotton candy spinner.

"We threw it out there, and it has just snowballed into this amazing, incredible event, and we keep adding vendors. We had three more vendors that added to the list today," Dawn Priebe said, Jackie's mother. "It really has funneled into this amazing thing."

Jackie presented her idea to the township board September 3 and asked them to waive the rental fees for using the pavilion—adding up to around $500—which they passed with a 6-0 vote.

Local bands and soloists from all of Orion will stockpile the stage after Pastor Dave gives a blessing at 11 a.m. Broadway Dance studio will be performing a five minute dance, the Peanut Gallery Players perform at 12:15 p.m., Jackie will perform for 45 minutes at 1:30 p.m., and We3&She at 2:20, along with many others.

"I think as long as we all come together we can help her overcome this battle," Jackie said. "Her family are very appreciative for everybody that's in it and supporting."

If you can't make the event and would still like to make a donation you can do so at www.youcaring.com/TeamAlayna.

"She's just 14 and look what can happen," her mother said. "You can be the change you want to see in the world."

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