NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Youth performers from across Hampton Roads came together to remember the life of a Virginia Beach college student.
The body of Ashanti Billie was found on Sept. 29 behind a church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Related Coverage: Ashanti Billie Disappearance
Investigators say Billie disappeared two weeks earlier while she was on her work to the Blimpie’s Sub Shop on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
Billie was a student at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach. On Saturday, teenagers and children performed a benefit concert for her.
“It’s a deep connection with people because music, you can feel it. If it’s a good positive song, people are going to send good positive vibes and we just want to send the family good positive vibes during their time our mourning,” said 16-year-old Chloe Royal.
Royal says she wanted to perform because she grew attached to Billie’s story after hearing about it through social media. Performing music was a way she and others decided to give back.
“We wanted to be able to assist the family anyway possible. It’s been a very difficult time,” said Brittany Brown, who was one of three organizers for the event.
Brown, Kim Wimbish, and Amber Hurley all came together this week to put the concert on to raise money for Hampton Roads residents to travel to Billie’s funeral next week.
Organizers say money raised will also go towards the family and a scholarship foundation set up in Billie’s name.
But, organizers also put on the concert to spread a message about unity. It’s something they say they saw on social media after Billie’s disappearance.
“Bringing unity to the community. I know we keep saying that over and over but I feel that’s what we’re lacking in the area,” Hurley said.
Royale also had her own message of safety for other teens.
“Teens should be aware of their surroundings. They should be comfortable with who they’re around,” she said.
The benefit concert raised over $3,000 in revenue and donations.
The Gethsemane Community Fellowship Church and Pastor Dr. Kirk Houston donated $1,650 for transportation to Billie’s funeral.
Great Things Christian Childcare Center donated $1,000 towards the Ashanti Foundation Scholarship.
Organizer Kim Wimbish, who is also a spokesperson for the Billie family, thanks the community on their behalf and that they will continue Billie’s legacy in Hampton Roads.