Benefit concert for Doug Potter draws hundreds

Doug Potter
Doug Potter

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE)- On Frenchman Street Sunday, a benefit concert for a musician badly beaten, drew friends, family and even total strangers. Doug Potter's wife says she's overwhelmed by the support her family is receiving as her husband remains unconscious in the hospital.

The stage is where Doug Potter was most comfortable, jamming out with his band mates. But on this Sunday, Potter lies in a hospital bed and these musicians, his friends, are playing to raise money for his medical bills.

Hundreds of people paid a $10 cover, filling DBA bar on Frenchman to catch the acts who donated their time for the cause.

Potter's wife, Cynthia says, "It's amazing, absolutely amazing. The amount of love this city has shown to my husband, it's wonderful."

Cynthia Potter says her husband's recovery is slow. Last month, Potter suffered a brutal beating at the hands of two men after leaving a gig near Bourbon Street. He doesn't have health insurance except for the coverage provided to him as part of the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. "His medical bills are going to be unbelievable," said Cynthia Potter.

In addition to the music, a blood drive was held across the street from DBA.

Malvern Burnett doesn't know Potter but heard about the brutal attack on the news. He decided to donate blood saying, "I thought it's the least I could do for the man."

In fact, many of these people didn't personally know Potter, yet, they still felt compelled to show up Sunday to support him. Dan Ring explains, "My friends and I are big into the music scene so we figured we'd come down and help him out by hitting the show."

Potter's brother, Dave, says, "I've had people come up to me, it's just incredible, they've said, 'I don't know who you are, I don't know your family...but I just had to come' and it's totally blowing me away."

Potter's family hopes to move him into a rehab facility, soon. With the generous help of the community, that goal will be much more attainable.

Police arrested 20-year-old Reeshawn Arnold in connection with Potter's beating. They're still searching for 30-year-old Terrell Belvin.

Meanwhile, the blood drive Sunday won't just benefit Potter...it'll also help with a nationwide blood shortage. A representative with the Blood Center says the biggest need for blood is in the Northeast where heavy snowfall has been prohibiting people from going out to donate. Blood can be transported from this area across the country.

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