WWU Village Life Hosts Benefit Concert

100 blankets and almost twice as many dollars raised for Portland homeless

By: Sarah Radelfinger

WWU students Ryan Aqui and Kendra Coffeen were among the musicians who performed at the concert.

Walla Walla University students donated a hundred blankets on Nov. 10 at a benefit concert for an upcoming mission trip.

The benefit concert was sponsored by the office of University Village Life. Its main goal was to raise awareness for the upcoming mission trip to Portland in February. Each audience member who attended was encouraged to bring a blanket to help jump-start the fundraising activities.

The concert started at 8:30 p.m. in Village Hall and featured the musical talents of Ryan Aqui, 21, junior mechanical engineering major and Kristen Coffeen, 21, junior, pre-public health and Spanish major. Members of the WWU Improvisational Team finished up the concert by entertaining the audience with several Improv games.

The songs performed came from a variety of artists including Damien Rice, Dave Barnes, and Ben Harper.

Aqui says, “The majority of the songs we did had a ‘What If?’ feeling to them. We all take possessions for granted at times, but how often do we actually take a moment to be thankful for our loved ones who care so deeply about us? The bottom line is that we could always make a greater effort to care more about others and focus less on ourselves.”

Director of University Village Life Paddy McCoy says, “Since I arrived at WWU, I wanted to help create a local mission trip that would be short and affordable for those that couldn't spend the time or money for a larger trip.”

The concert was a success bringing in 100 blankets and raising more than $175. The mission trip is scheduled for Feb. 14-17. Participating students will be volunteering most of their time at the Portland Rescue Mission. Before heading back to the campus on Sunday, the blankets will be given away to different homeless communities in the Portland area.

“It’s our mission here at WWU to be generous in service, so that’s what we hope to do,” says McCoy.

The mission trip is open to any WWU faculty, staff, and students who would like to attend. A general information session will be held on Nov. 28 at 8:30 p.m. in the Alaska Lobby of Kellogg Hall. Donations are still being accepted.

For further information, please contact the Office of University Village Life at 509.527.2109, or email paddy.mccoy@wallawalla.edu.

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