By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The expatriate community in Rio is coming together to raise medical and rehabilitation expense funds for Emmanuel Gilligan, who was the victim of a shooting during a failed robbery attempt in early March. A concert event fundraiser will be held for Gilligan, who is still recovering from serious injuries, in Botafogo on Friday, April 5th from 7-10PM.
Gilligan is an American expatriate who has lived and helped entertain the community in Rio since 1995 through his work as a singer and lead guitarist for the local band ArizonA. The band regularly performs around Rio including The American Society of Rio’s annual America’s Day.
Slowly in the time since the shooting Gilligan has been recovering. He can now feel his legs and they react to stimuli. However, he cannot control their movements and there is still a long road ahead for him and his family.
His wife Julia has maintained a blog, Emmanuel Guitarman, since the shooting. There she posts regular updates of her husband’s progress, which have thankfully been positive and encouraging.
“This idea [for the fundraiser] came up in a conversation between Peter Warner of Rio Country Trio and myself after Eman’s injury,” expatriate and Rio-based musician Alan Pratt explained to The Rio Times. “We have worked with Emmanuel and Julia for many years and have seen firsthand how willing they have been to help others.”
The Fundraiser on Friday night will include live music from recent Rock in Rio performers; River Country Trio, Alan Pratt & Bootleg, Claudia and Hanna Sette with Tony Rock, Bruce Henri and fellow members of the band ArizonA.
“There will be roughly 25 minute sets for each act covering the musical spectrum from bluegrass and folk rock to blues, pop and jazz. There will be beer, soft drinks and mineral water with a hundred percent of the profits going to the benefit fund, plus we’ve arranged with a local pizzeria to take orders for those who would like to eat something,” says Pratt.
“This is a really a community effort. All of the musicians are pulling together for Eman and the family,” Peter Warner of the River Country Trio bluegrass and gospel band told The Rio Times.
“Eman is a fine musician and a wonderful person – husband, Dad. He and Julia have been inspirational through both their music and good works,” Steve Yolen, member of of the River Country Trio, told The Rio Times.
“We, his musical colleagues, want this night to be equally inspirational and help fund his recovery. He needs help from all his friends and, now through this event, the community, as well.”
For those who cannot attend but would like to help, donations can also be made here.
What: Emmanuel Gilligan Medical/Rehabilitation Expense Fundraiser
When: Friday, April 5th from 7-10PM
Where: Jubilee Hall at the British School, Rua Real Grandeza, 99 in Botafogo
Entrance: Suggested Minimum donation of R$20