Ahead of Queen of Hearts Benefit at CEDIA, Paul Starkey Thankful For Support
That's the word VITAL MGT CEO Paul Starkey used to describe the support from the CI community when inaugurating the first annual Queen of Hearts Benefit concert at CEDIA. Two years ago, Starkey visited a safe house in San Diego and learned about how "stealth" the crime can be and how many women of all ages, and even sometimes boys, are affected for life.
"I was so touched by it; I just knew I had to get involved in some way," Starkey said. "This is sparking a long-term multi-million dollar commitment that we are making to this."
Donations for the concert go to Generation Hope, a non-profit that raises awareness of sex trafficking around the world and gives support to the victims it creates. The group gives care, education, clothes, and will even help remove tattoos from those afflicted.
Unsure if he would have support, Starkey, and his wife Jerri, decided to form the Queen of Hearts Benefit Concert anyways. What they found was an overwhelming call to action from a very involved community. With CEDIA just a few weeks away, Starkey has recruited fifteen sponsors and raised over $150,000. Additional funds from raffles, attendees buying individual tickets, auctions, and a live on-stage painting from Noah Kaplan of Leon Speakers should equate to a sizeable donation by the end of the night.
"When you have an idea, you never know how far it's going to go," Starkey said. "We are really, terrifically excited about the response. Company after company has said 'yes, yes I want to help, I want to give back.' I think it's just a tribute to the CEDIA nation and how people feel and care about people."
The night will also celebrate 12 "gracious" and "significant women" who bring generational, high-impact positivity to the world, including a former governor, industry icons, and a WWII veteran. Vendors and manufacturers of the CEDIA community are also sponsoring host women from all over the world who have helped create safe houses against trafficking.
"It's been really heart-lifting to work with these owners," he added. "Virtually everyone we asked, has said yes in a big way. From the tallest sponsor to the smallest, the response has just been great."
Queen of Hearts Benefit Concert takes place during CEDIA 2017, on September 7th at Humphrey's at the Bay with gates opening at 7:00 p.m., and to Starkey's high praise, Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band Creedence Forever will headline the event.
To learn more about the Queen of Hearts Benefit Concert or to make a donation, visit the website here.