Show raises money for tsunami relief

Students raised more than $4,000 for tsunami relief with a variety show of student performances Friday night at Lisner Auditorium.

Nine student groups performed at the show, Live Aid 2005, to raise money for victims of the Dec. 26 underwater earthquake that took more than 200,000 lives in Southeast Asia. All proceeds from the two-hour show will go to American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the South Asian Society Educational Endowment Fund.

Student groups such as a cappella acts Troubadours and Emocapella, urban performing arts group Liquid Arts and the Chinese Performing Arts Troupe gave short performances. Improvisational comedy group Recess served as emcee for the event.

Senior Steph Caccomo, who came up with the idea for the variety show at a Jan. 19 meeting of several student groups and University officials, said they sold about one-third of the tickets at the 1,500-seat Lisner. Tickets were $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door.

“I’m really happy about the turnout,” Caccomo said. “It was great to see so much of the University come together to support tsunami relief.”

The groups were able to donate all of the proceeds to charity because the University helped subsidize the costs of the event, such as the renting Lisner Auditorium. Student groups also pledged money to decrease costs. Nearly 20 groups were involved in organizing the event.

Freshman Danielle Friedman, who described the event as “incredible,” said she especially enjoyed the performances by the Troubadours and piano rock band The Sunday Mail. She recommended groups sponsor similar shows to raise money and awareness for other issues, such as genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

“Live Aid is such a good cause and I’m happy GW students came out to support it,” Friedman said. “I think that more concerts like this should be organized to promote awareness of other issues.”

Students also watched a slideshow of photographs of the tsunami aftermath and relief effort. Community service organization Circle K made the slideshow, which screened halfway through the show.

“The images were very moving and touching,” freshman Karyn Shapiro said. “The slideshow was definitely one of the best parts of the concert.”

Students also sold blue tsunami relief bracelets, similar to Lance Armstrong’s yellow “Livestrong” bracelets, at the event.

More than 50 bracelets were sold before the performances had ended, said senior Kaiser Farooque, president of the Islamic Alliance for Justice.

An after-party at dance club Tequila Beach followed the show. Proceeds from the after-party will also go to the relief effort.

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