By Diane Ako
It's not too late to help a local production win a national award. The Hawaii-based "Kokua for Japan" benefit concert, which raised funds for the Japan tsunami victims, is up for a VH1 "Do Something Award." It's the only Hawaii-based nominee in a field of heavy hitters.
The concert, held in April, donated $1.6 million for Japanese arthquake and tsunami relief efforts, via the American Red Cross. The VH1 award is a national awards show for social action.
The show will be hosted by "Glee" actress Jane Lynch in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Palladium and will air on VH1 Aug. 18. "Kokua for Japan" supporters can vote online at vh1.com until Aug. 14, 3 o' clock in the morning, Hawaii time.
"Kokua for Japan" was a radio, television and Internet fundraising event, and coordinated by Clear Channel Radio Hawaii. I had a friend producing the event, who was not returning my calls for weeks (elbow, elbow- ha ha ha) because she was subsumed with this effort, so I'm glad her hundreds of hours of labor and stress paid off so handsomely.
Some of the performers at the five-hour Waikiki concert included Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Henry Kapono, Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Jake Shimabukuro and the Brothers Cazimero. Other benefit nominees include Taylor Swift's Speak Now Tour to Benefit Tornado Victims; the Oklahoma Tornado Relief Concert featuring Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton; CMT Presents Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live from the Gulf Coast; and Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert.
For a complete list of nominees and to vote for "Kokua for Japan," visit www.vh1.com/shows/events/do_something_awards/2011/concert.