BOSTON—Suffolk University students recently attended the Kenyan Orphan Benefit Concert, a show in which three local bands played original music to raise money for a good cause. The concert was held in the Donahue Café on Thursday, Nov. 20 from 7 – 10 p.m. and had a turnout of more than 40 guests.
The Kenyan Orphan Benefit Concert was put together by Suffolk alumna Kelly Bates, who has visited Kenya three times to help the children. She is involved with the Bright Futures Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports developing countries by helping citizens obtain healthcare and education.
Bates works with a chapter of the Bright Futures Foundation to provide orphaned children in Kenya with necessary items that benefit both their health and schooling. It also raises money to establish living corridors and schoolhouses for the children.
“By attending this concert, you will be helping raise enough money for the children to have medicine, clothing and educational tools to succeed in the future,” Kelly Bates stated in her invitation to the event. “And to have a future.”
Bates was not alone in her efforts. When the University’s community service club, Suffolk’s Organization for Uplifting Lives through Service, received word of the cause, members jumped on board with high expectations.
“We knew the event was for a great cause so we were excited to help,” said Jess Ridlen, member of S.O.U.L.S. “There was a nice turnout and everyone at the concert seemed happy to be part of it.”
Tickets cost $5 and were sold at The Hub as well as at the door the night of the show. There was also a raffle for two tickets to the Improv Asylum, with tickets selling for $5. Domino’s Pizza donated 30 pies for the event, with slices and bottles of water costing $1 each.
The bands that performed were hip-hop artists Clarke!; instrumental rockers Yoko, Oh-No! of Suffolk University; and headliners WhiteShoeBrownShoe of Berklee College of Music. All three bands played sets that lasted roughly 30 minutes each, while Bates read letters from Kenya between the sets.
“I was really impressed by all of the musicians who played for the event,” said Cavan Rogers, a student at Suffolk. “The three bands were really talented, and the audience responded well and had fun.”
The event raised $486, which will be sent to the Bright Futures Foundation. Because of the concert’s success, Bates and members of S.O.U.L.S. expect to organize another in the future. For more information on the Bright Futures Foundation, visit www.brightfuturesfoundation.org. For more on events sponsored by S.O.U.L.S., visit www.suffolk.edu/communityservice/index.html, or just look for flyers around campus.