Benefit Concert for Ebola Victims


Courtesy of Caitlin Elise Weller

Performers of the benefit talent concert at the end of the night.

Zoe LaFemina, Reporter

Almost 4,000 people have died from Ebola and 7,000 cases have been reported in West Africa acorrding to UNICEF USA since March.

“UNICEF has over 100 animators and communicators going house-to-house in the epicenters of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia,” according to Carolyn Kindelan, communications officer at UNICEF. “They work with communities to increase awareness of the disease and clarify misconceptions about the virus and how to protect oneself against it.”

As Jaso Bolay, editor of the Campus Current looked out at the crowd at the victims of Ebola benefit concert held on Oct. 3, she said that her emotions ranged from feeling overwhelmed and surprised to genuinely happy.

The benefit concert organized by Bolay and the Campus Current raised $745 the night of the concert for UNICEF USA to help prevent the further spread of Ebola in West Africa. Since Friday Oct. 3, the Campus Current has since collected $320 in donations from people who were unable to attend but wanted to join the effort. In total, the Campus Current has raised $1,065 for UNICEF USA.

When Bolay heard about the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, she said she couldn’t believe it at first. This tragedy really hit home for her, seeing as she still has family in Liberia, family she has been unable to communicate with since.

Bolay knew that she couldn’t just sit and watch this happen to her home country. Using only about a month to plan, Bolay and the Campus Current set an audition date, an event date and hoped for the best. No one really knew how it would be received.

“People kept on asking me to guesstimate and my response was always, ‘I couldn’t really tell you.’ Because we had promoted it as much as possible but it was just one of those things that I felt couldn’t really be answered,” said Bolay.

The show was a huge success. The Campus Current sold all 100 of the tickets they had for the event, and the show flew by without a hitch. It was a diverse crowd, with parents, students, staff and faculty all in the mix.

“I think having [Bolay] there was significant in terms of how it impacted me personally,” said Heather Garnto, student at AACC who attended the concert. “I learned from the experience and it made the situation a lot more real for me. It made me want to be more involved.”

The Campus Current would like to thank all of the performers who made the benefit concert possible, as well as every single person who came out to the show or donated money to the cause.

If you were unable to attend the benefit talent concert and would still like to make a difference by donating to UNICEF visit: