FINNEYTOWN, Ohio — Thursday, Dec. 3, marks 41 years since 11 young people died trying to get into Riverfront Coliseum for a concert featuring The Who.
Three of those young people – Stephan Preston, Jackie Eckerle and Karen Morrison – were students at Finneytown High School, where there is now a permanent memorial celebrating their lives.
Each year, the P.E.M. Memorial raises money for college scholarships in the students' names.
But like everything else this year, the P.E.M. Memorial fundraiser had to change. The fundraiser will now be virtual, and instead of focusing on the three lost from Finneytown, the P.E.M. Memorial fundraiser will celebrate each of the 11 lives lost that night in 1979.
Organizers promise it will have surprises that any fan of The Who will want to see.
"You are absolutely going to want to watch this if you are a fan of The Who," said P.E.M. Memorial Board Member Fred Wittenbaum. "It's Finneytown, yes. It's the other eight families spread across Greater Cincinnati and the extended P.E.M. family, but if you're a worldwide lover of The Who, you want to pay attention to this."
You can join the P.E.M. Memorial virtually on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. at this link.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the night those 11 lives were lost outside Riverfront Coliseum, WCPO 9 aired its documentary "The Who: The Night That Changed Rock", in which members of the band spoke in-depth for the first time about that tragic night.
Additionally, family and friends of those who died that night as well as guitarist Pete Townshend, singer Roger Daltrey and manager Bill Curbishley share how that night changed their lives and rock and roll altogether.
To watch "The Who: The Night That Changed Rock," click here.