Benefit concert to kick off Homecoming

By Susannah Waite, Associate Editor

Student Government Association officials will do things a little differently this year when they bring back an event to campus.

“Up til’ Dawn,” a benefit concert for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, will be from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oct. 21 on the Quad Lawn. The event will be moved to Freede Wellness Center if it rains.

The Homecoming kick-off event gives organizations involved in Homecoming festivities the opportunity to earn participation points.
The entry fee for organizations will be letters written for St. Jude’s.  Students each write 35 letters to friends and family, asking for donations to fund St. Jude’s research. Students not involved in an organization also can attend.
The event was hosted during Homecoming and was stressful last year, said Leah Diaz, vice president for Student Activities Council.
“We decided to make it fun this year with a benefit concert, while we write letters,” said the entertainment business senior.
OCUpella, a campus a capella group will perform as well as John D. Neal, a current student, and Kyle Earhart, a student at UCO. The Skys-a local band will be headlining.
“It’s supposed to be a nighttime event to represent the kids who don’t get to sleep at night because of cancer and other diseases,” Diaz said.
The event will not be until dawn, but the idea is for students to stay up late.
“I think it’s a good idea to get people involved, especially with St. Jude’s,” said Farris Willingham math/education freshman. “Getting students aware about the research hospital is great.”
A video with information about St. Jude’s will play throughout the night. Officials also will announce the theme for Homecoming this year.
“Our goal is to have as much participation as our event last year,” she said. “If not more.”
Last year approximately 600 students participated in the letter writing event.
Diaz said that costs for the concert are about $3,000 for the stage, AV and artist fees. The money comes from the Student Activities budget Diaz said.
Sodexo also will be providing warm drinks and pastries.
“Our hope is that Homecoming will run smoothly,” Diaz said. “We hope that everyone enjoys another year of Homecoming.”
Diaz along with Homecoming commissioner Gina Pierson mostly plans Homecoming and its events. Dee Llanusa and John Riggs are faculty advisors.
“Very few other students help with the planning committee because then they can’t participate in the Homecoming events,” Diaz said. “This is also done to prevent leaking the theme.”
Homecoming is the week of November 1 through November 6. There will be several changes with the types of athletic events being hosted. There will be a women’s volleyball game and a men’s basketball game on November 6, instead of a men’s and women’s basketball game.
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