Arts and Entertainment

FUSN raises money and the roof

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Becky Crowder

The Youth Group of the First Unitarian Society in Newton (FUSN) hosted its seventh annual Youth Coffeehouse event March 8. The event benefited the Chawama Family Support Home in Lusaka, Zambia through the organization Communities Without Borders.
The fundraiser featured two acts. The first had a medley of acoustic and improv performances and dances, while the second act allowed local bands to show off.
“Each year it’s gotten better. It’s been so much fun for me to watch. Meg Holland, the adult supervisor who first brought the idea to the youth group seven years ago, said.
Holland described the initial idea as a way to promote social action and at the same time provide a new venue for performers. At the time, FUSN had just begun its relationship with Communities Without Borders.
Ever since, members of the youth group have come together once a year to put on a great show.
Although their goal for the first year was to make just $500, they vastly exceeded their expectations by raising almost $2,000. This year, the event raised well over $4,000, all of which went directly to the Chawama Family Support Home.
The money helps provide funding for Zambian children to go to school and to get the basic things they need in order to benefit from an education, including books and access to basic health care.
This year, the first act included performances by sophomore Max Alper on vocals and keys; Newton South’s improv group, Children of the Candy Corn; Newton North’s female a capella group, Forte; and a juggling performance by Giles the Jester, as well as several others.
The MCs for the night were Bridget Hess-Mahan, John MacGaffey, and Max Posner, students from both North and South.
The parish hall of the church was filled with many small candlelit tables and couches by the stage. The FUSN Youth Group decorated the walls and tables with pictures from trips to Zambia and white, cut-out doves. Although the show began at 7 pm, people continued to trickle in throughout the show.
During intermission, the tables were pushed aside, the couches were spread out, many of the children and their families left, and local high school students crowded around below the stage to watch the bands.
The Novel Ideas were the first to play, followed by Day Sleeper, Minus One Quartet, Downtown Collective, and  finally Goldenthorn. This was the third year Day Sleeper played at the coffeehouse.
“It’s always been a whole ton of people. It’s really gratifying. I definitely had a good time, lead singer, senior Cas Kaplan said.
This year, in addition to tickets, FUSN sold coffeehouse T-shirts with the coffeehouse logo ‘ËœNo Sweat’ T-shirts printed on them. The T-shirts were made in factories that do not use sweatshop labor. Those who had traveled to Africa previously sold Zambian jewelry and tie-dye.
Once again, this fund-raising event succeeded in benefitting all who were involved, as well as providing a fun-filled evening for those who attended.

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