Almost 10,000 fans attended the Hootie & the Blowfish concert Friday, July 28 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The benefit concert also featured Django Walker and Spin Doctors. It was at this concert, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation led efforts to collect school supplies for more than 1500 students from two local Title One schools, Johnson Elementary in Aldine ISD and Runyan Elementary in Conroe ISD. Concert attendees were generous in their donations and filled two 47-passenger buses to the roof with school supplies.

Dr. Don Stockton, superintendent of Conroe ISD, shared that, “The Hootie and the Blowfish event was a great partnership opportunity with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Conroe ISD. CISD is grateful for the generous donations of our caring community.”

The benevolent donations will make a difference in the lives of the students attending the two selected schools.

“We are grateful at Runyan Elementary for the generosity and charitable acts shown towards our students,” said Hedith Sauceda Upshaw, principal at Runyan Elementary in Conroe ISD. “We feel that a positive instructional and emotional environment will foster student achievement. The wide range of school supplies given will help cultivate their educational experiences. The school supply drive could not have been more successful. The students at Runyan Elementary will reap great academic and emotional rewards.”

Dr. Rebecca Hoyt, principal at Johnson Elementary School in Aldine ISD, was also pleased with the amount of school supplies that were given to the schools at the concert.

“The teacher volunteers have been busy working and sorting the supplies that were donated at Friday night's concert,” said Hoyt. “We plan to give every student that comes through the school doors on Meet the Teacher Night a bag full of school supplies to start their school year. Not only will the students be full of excitement to meet their new teacher but their heads will be held high when they walk through their classroom door with their supplies in hand!”

In addition to fans bringing supplies to the concert, local businesses donated cash and supplies to the cause. Papa John’s Pizza gave over $1,000 to this worthy cause and helped promote the school supply drive through a pizza box top promotion. Also, Live Nation gave approximately 350 backpacks that were divided between the two schools.

The response from the fans and the surrounding community affected all involved.

“It's an awesome feeling to know a community like Houston can really rally together and help those children who need it the most, " said Jim "Soni" Sonefeld, the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish.

“The support from the community and local businesses was extraordinary,” said Jerry MacDonald, president and CEO of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. “We were happy to be part of this ‘Fill the School Bus’ campaign and to assist these children with much needed school supplies.”

For more information regarding other educational outreach programs and upcoming events at The Pavilion, call 281-363-3300 or visit

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