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ISSUE 118 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/4/2005

Concert helps victims

By Brenna Bray
Staff Writer

Friday, March 4, 2005

The Tsunami Relief Concert last Friday increased the total amount of aid raised by $494, as displayed in Stav Hall.

Lucas Paine ’05 performed a set of four original songs on acoustic guitar and praised the event for its diversity. “Usually when groups collaborate, they all sort of do the same thing but we had Jewish mourning songs, some bands, reggae [and] me – folk,” Paine said.

St. Olaf’s Taiko Drumming Ensemble opened with a traditional Japanese festival piece, followed by a Scared Scriptless interlude that appealed to the community members and children in the audience.

Dan Marx ’06 performed a longer set of original songs on guitar, and Karibu Association performed an African dance choreographed by St. Olaf’s Claire Mpagazihe ’07 and Grace Munyakazi-Umutoni ’06.

Hayley Wender ’07 performed a traditional Jewish mourning song with Jew Crew and Paine followed with his acoustic set.

The concert closed with a second appearance by Scared Scriptless, a performance by Dave Mellby ‘05 and a final song, "Oiuchi," by the Taiko Drumming Ensemble.

Despite the concert’s smooth execution, coordinators were disappointed by the poor community turnout.

"We wanted to expand our support network," Lehla Olson ’05, co-leader of the concert organization committee along with Gloria MacWilliams-Brooks ’06, said. "We’ve done so much campaigning on campus, we wanted to target the community. That’s why we held the concert at Northfield Middle School."

However, of the estimated 70-100 attendants, the majority were St. Olaf students.

"We were pleasantly surprised with the St. Olaf student turnout, but surprisingly disappointed by the community involvement," Paine said.

The concert's proceeds, along with $2,000 from tabling and $595 from an Ytterboe fundraising dinner held Feb. 17, have brought the total amount raised to $3,700.

This amount is still $6,300 short of the committee’s goal, but the Tsunami Relief Committee (TRC) chair and founder Salah Mohamed ’07 is confident that TRC will reach their $10,000 goal by the end of the school year.

Mohamed said TRC will continue tabling in front of the cafeteria to raise money.

"We have raised $2,000 already, and we hope that the students who were not here over interim, particularly those returning from Term in Asia, will help increase this amount," Mohamed said.

Mohamed, who is also president of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and development coordinator of the Volunteer Network, founded TRC over interim this year.

"A friend of my housemate’s told me ‘Salah, since you are involved with many organizations, I think you should do something to help the victims who were affected by the disasters of the Tsunami,’" Mohamed said.

Mohamed sent e-mails to various organizations proposing the formation of the TRC, and committee members now represent more than 20 St. Olaf organizations.

The committee donates all proceeds to the Tsunami Relief Fund through the International Red Cross.

In addition to TRC's tabling, Mohamed said MSA plans to donate a portion of its Thank-A-Thon money to tsunami relief efforts.

TRC continues to brainstorm fundraising opportunities and encourage students to attend meetings, which are held in Buntrock Commons 146 at 7 p.m. on Monday nights.

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