Posted: Sep 9, 2013 12:18 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2013 12:19 PM
The benefit concert aimed at keeping search planes in the air to look for the missing yacht Nina and its seven-man crew was not as successful as organizers had hoped, but they have made enough to keep the planes in the air.
"It was a great event," said Ricky Wright, the Lafayette businessman whose daughter, Danielle Wright, is on board the missing boat. "It may have been because of the LSU game, but we didn't get the attendance we expected."
Wright said he still did not have a final tally on the money raised from Saturday's event, which was a combination family day/concert/auction held at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette.
"We had a pretty good crowd, though," Wright said.
The money raised is dedicated to keeping the privately-funded search for the missing yacht off the Australian coast underway. According to Wright, each day's search with one airplane can run up to $20,000.
Despite falling short of the turnout he expected for Saturday's concert event, Wright said the fundraising efforts are paying off.
"We had an event Friday in Baton Rouge where we sold 1,000 plates of jambalaya," Wright said. "We have another fundraising event coming up this week in Central with Cane's."
The net result is that the search effort is able to continue looking for the boat and crew which has now been missing since June 4.
"We have planes in the air now," Wright said.
He also emphasized the role that online reviewers using the tomnod.com site to identify potential search areas.
"More images have been released to us," Wright said Monday. "The new images cover an area about the size of Texas."