This Friday night, Champs Sports Bar and Cafe will be hosting Virginia Tech’s University Chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms' Battle of the Bands.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. This year will mark the second annual Spring Benefit for the organization, founded on campus here in September 2011.
Bands will start at 7 p.m. with N.A.R.P. and continue respectively with The White Lights, The Turn of Events, Merchants of Seven and Delta Dabney until 11 p.m.
Tickets will be sold throughout the event at the lower level of Champs — the doors facing Market Square Park in Downtown Blacksburg.
Last February, VT TWLOHA was approached by the assistant coach of the women’s basketball team about combining efforts to host a game that promoted and raised money for the issues that TWLOHA represents. As their first benefit as a university chapter, VT TWLOHA and the women’s basketball team earned $1,600.
In their second year of promoting a spring benefit, Tech — along with all other chapters across the country — were told by TWLOHA’s national organization that they are requiring that all university chapters have a spring benefit that consists of either a concert, a 5k run or a personal story sharing event.
“We had talked last year about wanting to do a concert anyways, so we said this would be great,” said President of VT TWLOHA Shannon Passaro.
Pasaro and other members of VT TWLOHA have been working hard to create a greater presence and awareness for To Write Love on Her Arms since their start in 2011. Plans of this event and its promotion have been in the works since well before winter break. Champs was booked and bands were chosen at the beginning of spring semester.
Ian Patrick, a member of Merchants of Seven, one of the bands performing on Friday had no previous involvement in the cause but knew about it through friends on campus and in high school. The band has been active on social media to help get the word out.
"The more people we can bring out the more money and awareness," Patrick said.
Champs will be offering their space for free and the bands performing unpaid for the event, meaning that 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales with go directly to To Write on Her Arms, split between the national organization and the VT chapter.
Members of VT TWLOHA have been selling pre-sale tickets all week and will continue to do so up until 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Follow this writer on Twitter @caitygonano