Seven bands rock for charity at Canopy Club

By Phil Collins

Guitars roared, voices yelled, the bass thumped and drums pounded at the Canopy Club. These are not unusual sounds to hear in the venue, but on Monday night they were for charity.

The Sound of Chambana Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit concert featured seven bands for a price of $7. The Confines, Below Eden, Jukebox Heroes, The Unpossible, Ben and Zach, Davenport and Bailey played the show.

“These are some bands that aren’t always in the spotlight,” said Aaron Blythe, drummer for The Confines.

Blythe said the band was attracted to play the show as an opportunity to support a good cause, as well as by the nature of the lineup.

Wishmakers, a Registered Student Organization directly affiliated with the Illinois chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, put the concert together. Wishmakers, which has been around for three years, focuses on fundraising for the foundation through activities such as “canning,” or collecting money in cans. The benefit show was the first event of its kind for the group.

“We’re looking to get more involved with the community,” said Maureen Kattah, president of Wishmakers and junior in LAS.

She said the concert raised about $150. Although she would have liked to see more people there, she said the Canopy Club was impressed.

“We were wishing for a better turnout, but you can’t let those things really discourage you,” Jimmy Tsai, guitarist for Below Eden and University alumnus, said. “The people there had fun.”

In its first two years, the group raised $5,000 – enough to adopt a wish.

Wishmakers adopted the wish of 17-year-old Stephanie, who suffers from Hodgkins Lymphoma, and sent her and her family to Hawaii.

“It was very rewarding for two years of work,” Kattah said.

Wishmakers hopes to raise another $5,000 this year alone, she said. The group is holding a silent auction and a 5K run/walk to support the cause.

“It’s a really worthy cause,” Tsai said. “I think everyone has someone in their life affected by a terminal illness.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 148,000 wishes since 1980, according to its Web site.

The Foundation grants wishes based on referrals, and children aged 17 or younger who have a life-threatening condition are eligible.

Wishes are granted in four categories: “I wish to go,” “I wish to have,” “I wish to meet” and “I wish to be.”

Wishes generally cost between $2,500 and $7,500 to grant, but the amount to adopt a wish, or sponsor one of the children, is standardized at $5,000, Kattah said.

“The students are the ones making things happen in the community,” Blythe said. “It’s good for students to set an example by getting involved with charity.”