Otto’s benefit raises relief funds

By Tyler Vincent

The band Picture This helped sponsor the Red Cross benefit fundraiser at Otto’s Sunday afternoon. All proceeds are to go to those who need help in New York.

With a large American flag behind its stage, Otto’s Niteclub opened its doors at noon Sunday for a three-band, seven-hour benefit for the DeKalb County Chapter of the American Red Cross, with proceeds ultimately going to New York to assist victims of the World Trade Center attack.

The event, titled Shooter’s Volunteer All-Star Jam, featured Picture This, the Shawn and Janelle Brown Band and Shooter. It was organized by Shooter lead singer J.R. Mancillas.

About 40 people turned out for the event, raising about $245 by 4 p.m. Sunday, said Chad Hussung, bartender and manager at Otto’s, 118 E. Lincoln Highway.

“When they had the Plainfield tornado, I did something like this out there and raised a lot of money,” Mancillas said. “That’s what I wanted to do here. You know, it was the least any of us can do.”

Mancillas said the images of the attacks on the World Trade Center have been particularly haunting.

“It’s been devastating,” he said. “Especially since I’ve gone though the Vietnam thing. But we’ve got to trust our country. We’ve got to trust our president. We’ve been free for over 200 years, and we’ll be free long after this.”

Among those in attendance was Andrew Fish, an NIU student and Army reservist. On the day of the attacks in New York and Washington, Fish’s reserve unit, the 801st Combat Supply Hospital, was put on immediate stand-by for deployment.

“I got a phone call saying ‘be ready,'” he said. “My bags are packed.”

Fish is a junior at NIU double-majoring in corporate finance and political science with an emphasis on international relations.

“I think we should have started the war on terrorism years ago back in ‘93 when they first did it,” Fish said, referring to the first attack on the World Trade Center. “I’m disappointed more college students were not out here. I’m actually embarrassed for DeKalb. You have to support your veterans, because this time we are going out there and we are going to kick some ass.”