After raising more than $2,000 at its event last year, the Make-A-Wish Foundation team at Virginia Tech hopes to raise even more money and awareness this February in hosting its second-annual Acapalooza a capella concert.
Friday evening at 7, the doors will open in the Graduate Life Center auditorium and the event will begin at 7:30. The benefit concert will showcase four student a capella groups, including Sensations, Soulstice, VT Mixed Emotions, and Juxtaposition. The Low Techs will also be performing.
“Our motivation last year when we thought of throwing an a capella concert was to try a new event we’d never attempted before,” said senior Vicki Fowler, president of the Virginia Tech Make-A-Wish Team. “Student turnout last year was much greater than we expected, considering we had never put on an event of that magnitude before.”
Last year’s Acapalooza concert attracted around 350 guests, even bringing in locals from Blacksburg and Christiansburg.
Each a capella group will prepare three songs and have the stage for about 15 minutes.
“We are so excited to be a part of Acapalooza this year and help support the efforts of Make-A-Wish,” said Katie Shonk, senior president of Soulstice. “We are always enthusiastic about performing on the Virginia Tech campus, especially for philanthropy events.”
The Make-A-Wish Team is hoping to increase attendance by bringing in some outside incentives. Items will be raffled off including baskets with gift cards to local businesses, tickets to the The Lyric, and a football signed by Coach Frank Beamer. There will also be a 10 percent donation of the total profits to the philanthropy of the fraternity or sorority with the most representation at the concert.
The remaining 90 percent of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“I am personally connected to Make-A-Wish, as my little cousin got a wish granted last March,” Fowler said. “It is gratifying to put on our events, knowing that the money is going to help comfort and bring happiness to children who are going through really trying, stressful times.”
There was also an Acapalooza percentage night at Moe’s this past Wednesday to extend the fundraising and advertising efforts. The proceeds from the benefit night will be added to the total profits of the concert.
VT’s Make-A-Wish Team is hopeful that the event will not only bring in funds to send to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia, but that it will also bring about awareness surrounding the cause. The concert will have wish-themed artwork provided by a local elementary school that will serve as decoration. There will also be brochures at the event that will include some stories of wishes and general information about the cause.
“The most important thing in terms of Acapalooza and spreading awareness through it is participation,” said Fowler. “(Participation) of not only VT students but also of the surrounding community, because we are trying to spread the word about what everyone can do to contribute to this cause, not just students.”