Chloe Lorentzen, a 12-year-old girl, with ties to Madras, took matters into her own hands to help convince British singer Adele to lend her voice to a fundraising effort for the charity War Child, which works to protect children in war-torn countries.
Her mother, Jaime Harrison, grew up in Madras, but now lives in Stamford, United Kingdom. While in Madras, she and her husband Lee Harrison opened Café Aroma in 2010. Chloe's grandparents are Phil Johnston, who just retired from the fire department, and Kathy Johnston, who ran Nana's Sugar Free Bakery in Madras.
Back in February, Chloe had seen a newspaper photo of a Syrian boy in the rubble of a bombed-out building. She and her stepdad talked about the situation and she wondered what she could do to help.
Chloe and her mom's favorite singer is folk rock singer Brandi Carlile, of Seattle, and about that same time, Carlile was recruiting her favorite musical artists to sing songs from her popular 2007 album "The Story."
She planned to sell the new album, called "Cover Stories," as a fundraiser for "War Child," a charity which protects children from the brutal effects of war, and helps to rebuild their lives.
Carlile had gotten artists including Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Indigo Girls, Miranda Lambert, and Pearl Jam to agree to the project, but was having trouble trying to recruit Adele.
That's where Chloe stepped in. She made a YouTube video, where she sang a message to Adele, urging her to sing on the album to support War Child, set to Adele's tune "Hello From the Other Side."
Some 200 people viewed her video the first day, and shortly after, Carlile called Chloe to ask her permission to put it on her social media pages, where it was viewed in 105 countries.
A few days later, Carlile called again to say Adele had agreed to sing on the album! She also encouraged Chloe to make her own CD to raise funds for War Child, an idea the young girl eagerly accepted.
Chloe is an accomplished singer herself, and appeared as the lead character in the musical "Annie" on May 31 in Stamford, England.
With tips from Carlile, Chloe organized a recording session with 40 other young musicians and singers and cut the charity CD "Beneath Safer Skies," featuring six songs: "When We Were Young," "Hiding my heart," "Tragedy," and "Circus Clown."
"It's an amazing achievement for a girl of 12. The entire project has been done by children – the musicians, the website, the videos, the photos, everything," her mother said.
Plus, it is looking like Chloe's "Beneath Safer Skies" CD will reach her fundraising goal of $13,000.
She and her mother flew to Seattle where they were invited to attend the launch party for Carlile's CD "Cover Stories." Carlile also invited Chloe to sing with her at her summer concerts at the Oregon Zoo, slated for July 29 and 30.
The Johnston grandparents have a box of Chloe's CDs, which are available at Madras Bowl for $15 each, with all proceeds going to the War Child charity.
People who buy one will be doing a lot of good for children in some of the most war-torn parts of the world, her mother noted.
"Chloe always tells people kids don't start wars, but they always pay the price," she added.