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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Rafrica helps project finish strong

Monday, January 28, 2008  
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By Kimberlee Rhodes

Oklahoma Christian University’s SGA hosted a Schools for Schools Benefit Concert, “Rafrica” (Rock Africa) Senior Megan Potter, director of the concert, thought of the idea of a benefit concert.

“This past summer I went to a benefit concert for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital,” Potter said. “When we started ‘Schools For Schools’ [at Oklahoma Christian] we thought it would be a great fundraiser.”

“Schools for Schools” is a program through Invisible Children, which provides facilities for 46 schools. Oklahoma Christian is sponsoring the Gulu Senior Secondary School in northern Uganda.

“The school [we are supporting] has over 1,000 students and only eight teachers,” Service Committee Chair of SGA Chelsea Jones said. “Schools for Schools provides books, desks, teachers and technology. A fresh water well is also being built for the school.”

With much student involvement, the concert was months in the making. About 30-35 students, including band members and the Schools for Schools committee, helped put it together.

“They knew that Battle of the Bands worked really well to bring in money,” sophomore Chelsea Baker said. “We didn’t want it to be a battle of the bands only because we wanted it to mainly be focused on the school.”

The Schools for Schools committee has let students know about their fundraising projects in many different ways.

“At first we got the word out through chapel announcements, T-shirt sales and the World Mission Workshop,” Potter said. “After that everything we did had our name on it, so people already knew what [‘Schools for Schools’] was.”

The concert featured five bands, including The Matt Porter band from Gainesville, Texas. The four remaining bands include Kaps Off, Golden Guns, The Sun also rises and The Knickers consist of Oklahoma Christian students. The concert raised $2490.69 in one night.

“The concert was great,” senior Brett Russell said. “My friends and I were standing around the gym after the basketball game waiting for Rafrica to start. It didn’t disappoint.”

Junior Courtney Bowles also gained a positive experience from the concert.

“I first heard about Rafrica from an invitation from Facebook,” Bowles said. “I thought it would be fun to go and talk to people I haven’t seen in a while, and I wanted to give some money to the cause.”

Best Buy, AMC and various restaurants donated items and gift cards to be raffled off at the concert. Doozen’s Coffee also donated several hundred dollars to purchase other prizes.

“We figured they were things college students would get excited about,” Jones said. “Whether or not they win, they’re helping a good cause, so we both win at the same time.”

Russell found it refreshing to go to an event that benefited others.

“There’s always something going on at OC,” Russell said. “I wanted to go to this one, though, because it was created to benefit others. I liked that people were getting together for a reason and not just because it was another Saturday night.”

Sophomore Wil Norton, also a member of the Knickers, participated in the concert.

“It is a rewarding feeling when you can be able to raise money through playing music,” Norton said. “I wanted to help out with Schools for Schools and especially with Rafrica in any way I could, even if that meant learning how to play banjo and join a folk cover band.”

In all, Oklahoma Christian raised over $15,000 for the Gulu Senior Secondary School. More information about Schools for Schools can be found at http://s4s.invisiblechildren.com/school/oklahoma-christian-university


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