By Devlin Smith
Last week, U2 manager Paul McGuinness announced that Bono had to have emergency back surgery, necessitating the postponement of the band's North American 360 tour opener in Salt Lake City. The entire North American tour has since been postponed as Bono recuperates.
A group of U2 fans have started a Get WELL Fund for Bono Cause on Facebook to raise money for the African Well Fund and to collect get well wishes for the singer. Monica A. Carrico spearheaded this effort and answered a few questions about where the idea came from and what she hopes to accomplish.
How did you get the idea to start a fundraiser for Bono as he recovers from back surgery?
Knowing what a big U2 fan I am, someone asked me if I was sending Bono a get well card and I laughed. Then the word "well" struck me as significant because I knew about the annual Bono birthday fundraiser for AWF and I thought it seems almost fated that the word "well" falls in the sentiment. I know how much respect U2 has for its fans and that the fandom has for the band in return. I knew that the band would feel our disappointment in the tour delay and I was relieved when the comments I read on fan boards was that most other fans felt the same as I did, that Bono's long-term health was the greater concern, and I wanted to have a concrete example of that feeling to publicly express our support for him in taking the right steps to preserve his well being. Why not create a get well card that actually helps?
Why did you want to raise money for AWF in particular?
U2 music has been a refuge and an inspiration to me and I have been fortunate enough in my life to have a safe and comfortable existence. Others have not and much of my awareness of this has come to me through U2. Part of my admiration for U2 is that Bono leads by example with the support of his band and family. I know that this charity is the end result of his being an example to follow, since it was created by U2 fans. I also know that whatever money we could raise would help people realize the fundamental right for access to clean and safe water.
What is your goal for this fundraiser?
To show our support as U2 fans, that the experience of being a member of the U2 community means more than great music and a huge tour. We will miss them, but they are not forgotten and certainly not resented for doing the right thing for their friend.
How long is the fundraiser going to last?
I picked July 19th as a goal date, since that was the last scheduled tour stop for the US leg. However, I am not opposed to extending the time frame as events unfold.
What kind of response have you gotten from fans so far to this idea?
So far, so great! It's always been my experience that there are no fans like U2 fans. There must be something in the music.
Anything else you would like to add about your Get Well fundraiser?
If you can't contribute now, keep the African Well Fund in mind in the future. A little goes a long way and Africa has a long way to go.
To make a donation or join the Get WELL Fund for Bono Cause, click here.