Apparently, there is more to high school than prom, Friday night football games and the glee club.
Students from local high schools who are involved with the Rotary International’s Exchange Program planned a benefit concert. The fundraising effort, called “Jam for Japan,” was held May 6 at The Bluestone, at 583 E. Broad St. in Columbus. Rotary District 6690, which includes Columbus and southeastern Ohio, sponsored the event.
So far, “Jam for Japan” has raised more than $5,000 for an organization called ShelterBox, which will aid the students in providing necessary items for victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 of this year.
“This is way above and beyond anything we have ever done before, because usually, we do service projects in conjunction with the rotary clubs. This is the first project we have done as just high school students,” said Robin Smith, junior at the Columbus School for Girls, and co-coordinator of “Jam for Japan.”
The program acts as a foreign international exchange between rotary clubs throughout the world.
“We are so connected with kids from around the world. All of us know someone from Japan, or know a kid from Ohio who has gone to Japan through our program, so there is really a personal connection there,” Smith said.
Several local bands, including The Phantods, Drunk on Horseback and Angel Rocket, donated their time and talent to the relief effort by performing
at the concert free of charge.
“We are doing this for the joy of it. It is a great, laid-back venue, and everyone is here for a good time and a great cause,” said Robb Jarrett of Angel Rocket.
Smith classifies Angel Rocket as an alternative electronica group and The Phantods and Drunk on Horseback as indie rock groups.
The diversity in the setlist was accompanied by a great diversity in the audience who came to support “Jam for Japan.”
“There are high school kids, then there are 20-year-old college kids, 30-year-old people who follow the bands and then the rotarians are coming,” Smith said of the crowd.
The event took about a month-and-a-half to plan, and the rotary exchange students still have a long way to go , said Quinn Georgic, junior at Buckeye Valley High School and co-coordinator of the event.
Donations will be accepted at www.Jam4Japan.com until the beginning of June, which is when the ShelterBoxes will be organized and sent to those in need in Japan.