Laureen F. Guenther
Two years ago, Brooklyn Davidson, a Strathmore Grade 11 student, had a brilliant idea: to host a concert showcasing the talent of students at SHS, and raise money to make a positive difference somewhere in the world. Davidson organized the first concert, and it was so successful, the Me to We Club made it an annual event. When Davidson graduated in 2012, she passed the baton to Mariah Wilson, now in Grade 12.
During this school year, Wilson explains, the Me to We Club has designated all of its fundraising to build a classroom in the Osenetoi Primary School in Osenetoi, Kenya. Hoping to raise $4,000 this year, the club has already raised $1,000 through a Penny Drive in November.
On Friday, March 1, they held this year’s benefit concert. It was accompanied by a silent auction, to which Strathmore artists Alecia Demott and John McElroy, as well as many local businesses -- The Station, Wal-Mart, The Laugh Shop, Orange Julius, Booster Juice, NV Hair & Body Studio, The Bank Athletic Club, Domino’s Pizza, The Red Carrot, Home Hardware, Target Fitness and Agrium – made generous donations.
More than 100 people attended, and the event raised $2,100.
“All of the support from the community was overwhelming,” said Wilson.
The program line-up was impressive -15 individual students and three musical groups - and Wilson said, “the concert went very well.”
“Kylie Breault and Colten McMahon’s rendition of the song ‘Little Talks’ by Monsters & Men; Richard Yao’s original song titled ‘Cloud’; the hilarious dialogue from our emcees Carlee MsIsaac and Jenna Mohamed,” were highlights of the show said Wilson.
Concertgoers also appreciated a speech by Grade 11 student Paige Rist, about her experience working in Osenetoi last summer.
“Most people said every act was fantastic and that the whole evening was a night to remember,” said Wilson. “We heard lots of positive comments after the concert. Many people asked if they could buy a recording of the concert on a disk because the performances were so well done.”
Personally, Wilson says, “my favourite part of the evening was seeing the audience and performers genuinely enjoying themselves.”
She also enjoyed the satisfaction of a job well done.
“As the organizer, it was a relief that all of the Me To We Club’s hard work had paid off in an evening enjoyed by all who attended,” she says.
This year’s benefit concert may be over, but fundraising and concern for Osenetoi Primary School continues. The club plans a few more fundraisers in the spring, possibly including a 30-hour famine and a necklace sale.
Those who missed the concert are still welcome to support it.
“If anyone wishes to donate they can contact (our teacher) Ms. Magill at 403-934-3135,” said Wilson/
They can also take comfort in Wilson’s assurance: “We will definitely be organizing the benefit concert again next year.”