Ticket sales off to slow start for Lt. Dan Band concert to benefit triple-amputee Sgt. Nicholson

Proceeds will help build Nicholson a "smart home"

TAMPA - Organizers of a benefit concert for the bay area Marine who became a triple amputee, are making a final plea to the community.

Ticket sales are slower than expected for the May 10 fundraiser that will help build a specially designed home for Sgt. Michael Nicholson of Tampa.

He lost both legs and his left arm from an IED in Afghanistan in July of 2011.

"We're really surprised because we thought Tampa was going to come out in full force, and we know you still can," said Chris Kuban, with the Tunnels to Towers group that started in New York City after 9/11.

The group partnered with Gary Sinise's foundation to get Sgt. Nicholson what's called a smart home.

The roughly half-million-dollar home is designed to fit all of his needs.

Counters and cabinets adjust to his height, and the entire home is controlled through easy-to-use, and reach, touch screens.

So far, the foundations have only sold about 400 of the 4,000 tickets to the benefit concert at Curtis Hixon Park.

The man famous for playing a double amputee in Forrest Gump is performing with his Lt. Dan Band.

Retired Marine Steve Emerson is trying to spread the word in every way he knows how.

"If we can buy back some of the independence this kid sacrificed, I think we should do it," he said.

Emerson was with Nicholson last month when he threw out the first pitch at a Rays game to a rousing standing ovation.

To purchase tickets for the May 10 concert, visit www.supportmikenicholson.com . The cost is $35  for general admission or $75 for VIP tickets.

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