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Concert will benefit Lee family

When a family member dies unexpectedly, families can be left with a mountain of debt.

Such is the case with Michael Lee’s family.

To help cover the costs of the funeral, Victor Johnson and Steven Edwards are putting together a benefit concert in Lee’s memory on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Gates of Heaven Church.

“Mike’s death was a tragedy,” said Victor Johnson, a classmate of Lee’s who is helping set up the concert. “We want to help his family pay for unexpected expenses. … And, just have fun, praise God and see people do things other than go to parties on a Saturday night. We don’t want to lose any more young people to violence.”

Michael Lee, 17, was shot to death Jan. 9 outside a party in Norfolk. Lee was an honor student and football player at Lakeland High School with no history of trouble. Teachers and students who knew him described him as an uplifting young man of determination.

Clifton Erving Privott, 18, of Bangor Crescent in Chesapeake, was arrested on Jan. 22 in connection with Lee’s murder.

During Saturday’s benefit concert, praise bands, choirs and music groups will come together for a night of praise and worship to help raise funds for Lee’s funeral expenses.

“Right now, we have at least six or seven groups from the seven-cities areas,” Johnson said. “And, we’re still waiting to hear back from groups.”

Johnson and Edwards hope friends, families and community members will donate to Lee’s funeral.

“He had no life insurance,” Edwards said. “If everyone could give $10 each, it will help.”

The money raised from the benefit will be combined with an account from Sun Trust that has been set up since Lee’s death to help with funeral costs.

“I’m just honored,” said Karen Lee, Michael Lee’s mother. “I’m really happy his peers loved and respected him enough to do something like this. Anything collected would be greatly appreciated.”

Checks can be made out to T.E. Cook-Overton Funeral Home.

For more information call Victor Johnson at 606-4494 or Steven Edwards at 241-1999.