Variety show to benefit tsunami relief

Nine student groups will perform at Lisner Auditorium Friday night to raise money for the tsunami relief effort.

The variety show, Live Aid 2005, will feature groups such as South Asian dance group Bhangra, improvisational comedy troupe Recess and piano rock band The Sunday Mail. Tickets, which went on sale Monday at Ticketmaster, are $10 presale and $12 at the door. There will also be an after-party at Tequila Beach.

About 20 student organizations are involved in planning the events, Student Activities Center Director Tim Miller said. There are seven or eight groups, such as the South Asian Society, that he said are “core to it because it affects their members more than anyone else.” The Dec. 26 earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a massive wave that killed more than 200,000 people in Southeast Asia.

Miller organized a meeting of student groups Jan. 19 to brainstorm fundraising ideas to help victims of the tsunami. Sophomore Steph Caccomo came up with the idea for a variety show.

“We have so much great student talent on campus,” Caccomo said. “I’m so impressed with so many of them.”

Caccomo, a member of the Live Aid planning committee, said she felt compelled to help organize a fundraising project to help the relief effort.

“If you watched CNN coverage of the tsunami … it really got to me,” Caccomo said. “I wanted to adopt a baby, but my mom wanted me to do something else.”

Many student groups are helping subsidize the cost of planning the event. Caccomo said the University is also helping reduce the cost of renting Lisner Auditorium.

“They want to make sure as much of the proceeds go to charities as possible,” Caccomo said. “Our costs right now have been very nominal. A lot of groups are pledging money.”

Caccomo said her goal is to “pack the house” at Lisner, which seats 1,500 people.

“I would love to reach $15,000 but I will be happy with whatever we get,” Caccomo said.

Community service organization Circle K made a slideshow of images of the tsunami and the relief effort that will play midway through the variety show.

“It’s a broad spectrum of talent and it’s a bonus that it’s going towards charity,” Caccomo said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and you are going to know why you’re there. It’s going to be a spectacular show.”

The groups also plan to sell $1 blue wristbands and Krispy Kreme donuts as part of the fundraiser. They plan to sell the wristbands, which resemble Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong bands, throughout the semester.

Individual student organizations have sponsored different fundraisers on campus this semester to raise money for victims. Satyam, a Hindu awareness group, held a fundraiser at Mexican restaurant Baja Fresh in early February.

Proceeds from the Friday variety show, which has an 8 p.m. start time, will go to the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the South Asian Society Educational Endowment Fund.

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