‘Rock for Love’ to benefit teacher’s spinal injury rehab

  • Written by Shannon Michael

It’s been five months since Jessie Owen was riding in her family’s vehicle east of Stevens Pass on Highway 2 on December 21 when a tree fell on their SUV, instantly killing her parents, Tim and Cheryl Reed Owen. Jessie suffered a catastrophic spine injury. The crash also severely injured her sister, Jaime Owen-Mayer, and Jaime’s husband Steven Mayer.

It is hoped with time, a lot of healing plus intensive rehabilitative therapy that Jessie Owen may regain the full use of her arms and legs.

That hope for full healing is what inspired Matt Adams, a fellow teacher at Frank Love Elementary in Bothell where Jessie taught before the accident, to think of a way the local community could help support Jessie’s recovery efforts.

With the help of Frank Love parent volunteers Kim Milliken and Kim Sheets, a benefit concert was planned to help raise funds so Jessie can spend a couple of months at Craig Hospital in Denver where intensive spinal cord treatment is available. The treatment is not covered by her insurance. The benefit, Rock for Love, will feature two concerts back-to-back on June 14 at the Northshore Senior Center, 10201 East Riverside Drive, in Bothell. The first show will be for all ages, followed by a concert later in the evening for adults 21 and older.
Tickets, ranging in price from $10 for children ages 6-17, $15 for adults for one concert or $25 for both concerts, may be purchased in advance online by visiting Children under age 5 will be admitted free for the first concert. Tickets purchased at the door will be by cash or check only.

The first concert, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. will feature the band Bored of Education, a group comprised of Frank Love teachers Adams, Greg Wirtala and Liz Persinger. The band will cover current and classic songs that families of all ages will enjoy.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the first concert. Guests can purchase raffle tickets for prizes that will include travel getaways, cases of Washington wines, a soccer birthday party and more. Las Margaritas restaurant will also be donating food for purchase during the first concert.  

The doors will open at 8:15 p.m. for the second concert, featuring the band Carolus. Their two-hour performance will begin at 9 p.m.  Carolus, made up of three local musicians —Jeff Carolus, Todd Gowers and Todd Zimberg — will perform their original rock music.

A cash-only wine and beer bar will be open during the Carolus concert, and food will be available for purchase. Several families, along with local wineries Covington Cellars, Kaella Winery, and Convergence Zone Cellars donated wine, while Mac & Jack’s Brewery donated beer.

HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit specializing in empowering individuals and families recovering from catastrophic injuries through grassroots fundraising, has set up the Northwest Spinal Cord Injury Fund supporting Jessie Owen’s recovery.

All proceeds from the concert will go directly to Jessie Owen’s HelpHOPELive fund to help with her uninsured rehabilitation expenses.

Kim Milliken, a co-chair of the Rock for Love benefit, is thankful for the nonprofit’s help. “They have been wonderful. They have been helpful with getting everything set up,” she said.

The benefit’s organizers hope to raise $10,000 to help Jessie’s recovery. Tax deductible donations by check, made payable to HelpHOPELive, with “in honor of Jessie Owen” written on the memo line, can be sent to HelpHOPELive, Two Radnor Corporate Center, 100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100, Radnor, PA 19087. Credit card donations may be made online at or by calling 800-642-8399.

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