PIEDMONT -- When the tornado struck Moore, Okla., in May, the whole country felt the shock. Now two Piedmonters are giving Bay Area locals a chance to give back to those in Moore who need help.

"The people in that area are just wonderful, wonderful people," said violinist and violist Debbie Dare.

That's why Dare and her husband, Joseph Gold, also a violinist, decided to put together a benefit for the town, one that is important to them in a special way.

"Joe and I have been performing in Oklahoma for the last two years," she said.

Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, was hit May 20 by a tornado that was 17 miles long and 1.3 miles at its widest. Thousands of homes were damaged, and 24 people died.

One of Dare's friends and a mentor is a Moore resident and television personality John Ferguson. Known in Oklahoma as Count Gregore, he is famous to generations of late-night TV watchers. His house was three blocks from the tornado's edge, Dare said. An interview with Ferguson, along with pictures of the damage, will be shown at the benefit.

"I told him to record his stories," she added.

Dare and Gold are classical musicians and the bill will include Rachmaninoff, Mozart and Saint-Saëns. Other musicians are joining Dare, including Piedmont flautist Angela Koregelos. The children's choir Kairos Vocal Ensemble will also perform, and Piedmont Vice Mayor Margaret Fujioka will speak. The money collected -- a requested $50 donation apiece -- will go to United Way, which Ferguson recommended to Dare.

"He's telling me more and more about the good work United Way is doing," Dare said.

The benefit will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, a nonprofit arts venue founded in 2011. Dare is on the board of directors.

She hopes people will come and donate but also get to know some of their own neighbors.

"A community is really what holds people together," she said.

And in the Bay Area, which has its own natural disasters, that's even more important.

"You never know what's going to happen to your community," Dare said.

FYI
The benefit for the Moore, Okla., tornado residents will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Ave. The requested donation is $50.