By Heather Leiphart, Student Reporter
Four student bands performed Tuesday night as part of “A Night at University Park,” presented by the ACU chapter of Wishing Well. The event also featured an art show and nonprofit organizations, including TOMS, Handbags of Hope and 25 Cloth. University Park provided free food and drinks.
“We thought it would be a good idea not only to help our residents by providing entertainment and free food, but also to help the community and the world by getting the word out about these organizations,” said UP resident assistant Stephanie Stryhal, junior marketing and management major from Chicago.
Wishing Well is a nonprofit organization that builds wells to provide clean drinking water to people in developing nations. Safe, parasite-free water is not an option for more than one billion people worldwide, causing five million deaths each year, according to the Wishing Well Web site, www.wishingwellafrica.com. As little as $1 can provide someone a yearlong supply of water.
Students Ben Fulfer, junior sociology major from Cordova, Tenn., and Steven Powell, junior accounting major from Abilene, created the ACU chapter of Wishing Well last semester to help this cause. Tuesday’s concert is one of many fundraising events the group plans to organize.
“Our biggest goal is to make sure ACU students can use their talents for something bigger than themselves,” said Casey Monsees, junior history major from Denver.
The organization primarily uses donated artwork to create awareness for the water crisis. Wishing Well displayed and sold pieces of art during the show, as well as T-shirts and pins. Members also collected monetary donations.
Swing the Lead, Paul Knettel, Krissy Heavin, Robby Brown and Andrew Duge provided free entertainment in the UP clubhouse during the event.
“We played really well tonight and we’re very happy to support Wishing Well,” said Matt Tate, bassist for Swing the Lead and junior graphic design major from Arlington.
In the courtyard outside the clubhouse, the event included several other nonprofit organizations. Handbags of Hope provides women in Mozambique with a source of income and livelihood through hand-sewing purses, which were available for purchase. TOMS shoes gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair bought, and 25 Cloth uses proceeds from T-shirt sales to feed children in Liberia.
“The Wishing Well benefit concert was a good way for us to be globally involved without having to go anywhere,” said Jordan Ziemer, junior communication major from Spring.
ACU’s chapter of Wishing Well plans to organize a walk this spring, along with several other fundraising events. The group also meets every Thursday for small group chapel in Room 112 of the Biblical Studies Building.