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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

Benefit concert rocks URI's Memorial Union

Strike a Chord presented multiple local bands for a benefit concert entitled, “Healing Tones for Hasbro” in an effort to raise money for Hasbro Children’s Hospital last Friday night in the University of Rhode Island’s Memorial Union. The night started out with the band Cat Has Claws, an alternative band from Attleboro, Massachusetts. Cat Has Claws played an hour-long set and helped the audience get excited for the upcoming bands. In between bands, Ryan Vigneau and Rachel Nunes of the URI Ballroom Dance Club performed. The pair took to the stage as characters Bert and Mary Poppins, dancing around the ballroom in full costume. The next band, Sic Vita, an alternative rock band from Boston, brought intense guitar melodies to their performance, creating a good atmosphere amongst the crowd. Next was Natalie Paige, a URI sophomore, who played a short, acoustic set. Other acts of the night included a rock band from Providence, The Dust Ruffles, and an acoustic set from Joe Tudino and Tim Doherty, both of whom have played at a Strike a Chord events in the past. The night ended with the hard rock band from Boston, 95 Hyde. “The show will give [the bands] an opportunity to kind of get their name known and maybe get a crowd from URI,” Nick Bottai, president of Strike a Chord said. Bottai explained how the organization picked which bands to perform. He said that they created a booking committee during one of their meetings, and brainstormed a bunch of local bands in the surrounding areas. Then, the members voted on the top bands, and contacted them to book the show. Whoever responded first received a spot Friday night. “We try and get new bands to play every semester,” Bottai said. “We want to keep the crowd pleased and just get a bunch of locals here.” Bottai explained that the organization wanted to keep the tickets cheap because, “we’re all college students and we’re all broke, looking for a cheap, good show.” Along with the cheaper tickets, B&M Catering from Pawtucket donated and served food to students throughout the night. Brian Doherty, owner of B&M, said that his son is a student at URI and since the event was raising money for a good cause, he was happy to donate food and his own time. A portion of the funds from the night will go towards Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the rest of the revenue will go towards the organization for future shows and for advertising. Each band donated their time, playing the show for free. Bottai said that when the club members were picking the charity for the event, they wanted to pick a well-known charity that everyone could relate to. Since Hasbro is very well known in Rhode Island, either as the toy company or hospital, the members decided that people would be able to relate to the cause. Each semester, the club picks a new charity to donate to and then look to see how much money would be able to go towards the cause. Bottai said that the club members try and get a representative from the companies to come and talk to the club, in order to learn more about the organization they’re donating to. Healing Tones for Hasbro is Strike a Chord’s last event of the semester, but Bottai said that they hope to participate in Earth Day and help with a campus clean up. Next semester, the club will be ready to present even more bands and larger shows.

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