Enumclaw High School seniors were able to raise more than $900 for the citizens of Newtown, CT, through a benefit concert held last Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Chalet Theater in downtown Enumclaw.
The concert followed a powerful memorial assembly that challenged students to take action and spread acts of kindness throughout their community, in a continuing effort by students to honor and remember the 26 lives lost in last month’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Featuring musical acts from all over the Seattle area, the concert presented a variety of ways to raise money for those affected. Donations of $5 were encouraged at the door, while proceeds from student-sold Sandy Hook memorial bracelets added to the total. The Enumclaw Rotary Club also raised more than $150 dollars at its Thursday meeting last week.
Seniors Julia Myers and Sean Coats took charge of putting the benefit together, while senior Perry Rockwood lent his voice as a host and performer.
Opening the show, student Matteo Valadez played several original acoustic numbers, including a song titled “Justin Case”, dedicated to the memory of former Enumclaw student Justin Relethford.
Following Valadez, local band Image Control played several energizing songs, followed by an instrumental duet by Nolan Bailey and Jordan Obaya before the event’s headlining act, The Bard and the Liar, took the stage.
The acts all offered condolences for victims of the shooting, as well as an acknowledgement of their dedication and support for the benefit.
“To put it simply, that was bad. This is good. So let’s have fun,” said Zach McCowin, lead singer for the band Image Control.
Half of all proceeds from The Bard and the Liar, including money raised from merchandise sales, were donated to the cause.
In the evening’s concluding portion, Rockwood took the opportunity to communicate the motives behind the student’s dedication to the relief of Sandy Hook victims, telling those in attendance: “If anything were to happen to us and our schools, I know that others would be reaching out to us like we are reaching out tonight.”
Rockwood then requested the presence of 26 students from the audience who had each been given a picture of a victim at the beginning of the program. Assembled on stage, EHS students held up their photos, one by one, honoring those lost.
The program concluded with a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You”, with Rockwood providing vocals and Coats accompanying on the piano.
Afterwards to the audience, Rockwood said, “When something so serious happens, everyone can relate…this has been a great thing for our community and school.”
All proceeds will be sent to Newtown through the United Way.