Concert benefits Sandy victims

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The effects of Hurricane Sandy on New York were severe and heartbreaking.  The subway system, road tunnels, and suburban communities flooded; for a while the “city that never sleeps” seemed deserted.

In the wake of this destruction, members of the student body organized and held a Benefit Concert for the victims of the hurricane.  The event raised over $2,100 by the time curtains opened on February 22.

Ella Leviyeva, senior class president, organized the Benefit Concert and described why she felt it necessary to raise money for the victims of the massive storm:

“After Hurricane Sandy devastated our communities, I knew I wanted to do something to help. Ms.Verga was leading a very successful food and clothing drive, and I was so happy that our school was helping in some way. After seeing the immense impact of the storm, I realized that we, as a school, should do something with long-term impacts. The SU Board decided to host a Benefit Concert for the cause. Jason [Mills], Mohd [Sakib], Nabil [Khatri], and I immediately began planning the show, hoping to make it stand out from other shows such as SING and FON in content yet still be successful,” she stated.

Jason Mills, Student Union president, said, “At first,  it was difficult to get talents involved and organized, but we started working harder and teachers and students were signing up to do the show in no time. That was one of our biggest successes: the amount of people who wanted to help out and all those who attended.”

Students spent time in every lunch band advertising and selling tickets for the concert. Many people who couldn’t attend still donated to the cause and soon many students joined in by advertising for the concert through Facebook and Instagram.

On the night of the concert, the line to enter snaked throughout the lobby.

“The administration was immediately on board with our hopes to raise money for the cause,” said Ella.

The concert began with “Washed-Away,” a documentary by Ameer Kazmi and Godfred Sedano, seniors.  The video featured interviews with individual students whose lives and homes were affected by the storm.

“It was a moving documentary,” said Christopher Jordan, senior. “I felt very moved by [a friend’s] experience in the documentary as I didn’t know how bad he’d been affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

After the 20-minute documentary, singing and dancing performances were featured from students of all grades.

Jason said, “It was a great turnout and because of all those who attended and donated, we raised over $2,100. The concert helped build camaraderie and an understanding of the reality of the aftermath, reminding people that the reconstruction is far from over.”