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Rock The Cause aims to raise money for cancer, smiles

Rock the Cause, a free benefit concert supporting the American Cancer Society and Operation Smile, is set for March 25 at the Newport.  Credit: Courtesy of Ben McConnell

Rock the Cause, a free benefit concert supporting the American Cancer Society and Operation Smile, is set for March 25 at Newport Music Hall.
Credit: Courtesy of Ben McConnell

Some Ohio State student organizations have collaborated to rock for a good cause.

Rock the Cause, a free benefit concert, is designed to support two fronts: the American Cancer Society and Operation Smile, an international charity dedicated to treating children with cleft lip or cleft palate facial deformities.

“People should go to the concert because it’s a great feeling to see live music and even a better feeling doing something good for a good cause,” said Timothy Zhu, the co-founder and president of the student organization Operation Smile Club and a second-year majoring in economics.

Rock The Cause is set to take place at Newport Music Hall March 25 at 8 p.m. The concert is sponsored in part by RHAC, Relay for Life, Musician’s Collective, Arouse, Dollars 4 Change, Operation Smile Club, Music and Entertainment Student Association, The Black Student Association and The Network.

Indie band Smallpools is set to headline with support by alt-rock openers All My Sons and Captain Kidd.

Amanda Siroskey, member of the Benefit Concert Planning Committee and sponsorship director for Relay for Life, said support for the American Cancer Society cause is important.

“It’s important for students to support it because it affects so many peoples’ families, for sure. Cancer affects many people throughout the U.S. and the world. Cancer research can help anyone in the long run and cancer is such a widespread cause of death,” said Siroskey, a fourth-year in strategic communications.

Siroskey said she is hoping more people will become aware of the causes and donate to them.

“It’s going to be a concert for a cause. We’re hoping that since it’s a free concert, people will use the money that they would have paid for a ticket and use it to donate to the actual causes,” Siroskey said. Students can make cash donations, BuckID donations and credit card donations at the door of the concert. They can also make donations online at Rock The Cause’s website.

Zhu said students should support Operation Smile.

“It’s important to support Operation Smile because every three minutes a child is born with a cleft lip. They are unable to smile and are shunned from society simply because their parents cannot afford the 45 minute surgery. I believe that everyone deserves to smile,” Zhu said.

Zeshawn Qadir, the co-president for Dollars 4 Change and a fifth-year in finance, said there is another purpose for Rock The Cause besides raising funds for charity.

“We’re trying to give (the causes) a significant financial donation and at the same time get students active and involved to help support (the causes) in the future,” Qadir said.

Siroskey said she’s excited for Smallpools to play in the concert.

“I think they’re going to be really good. (Their music) is all really catchy,” Siroskey said.

Arthur Broadstock, vice president of Musicians’ Collective, a guitarist for student-driven band All My Sons and a third-year in biochemistry, said the Musicians’ Collective looked into booking Smallpools for the concert.

“We wanted to capture somebody who was a rising artist. We wanted to go with an alternative rock sound. We wanted to catch someone that was really popular with the students,” Broadstock said.

Musicians’ Collective is an organization dedicated to developing a community of student musicians at OSU.

The Musicians’ Collective also did the research in order to find opening acts for Smallpools, Broadstock said.

“When we had to look at the pool of Musicians’ Collective bands, we wanted to draw from the bands that would fit well from Smallpools and the sounds that they were bringing. It was always our intent to bring in a national act. We weren’t sure how the opening acts would work out. But it always made sense to use local artists and more specifically students because it allows us to tie OSU with this event,” Broadstock said.

Siroskey said choosing bands comprised of students was no accident.

“The reason why we wanted to feature student bands is because we want to showcase the talent that we do have at Ohio State. We wanted to have students up there performing and have people in the audience hold deeper connections to those musicians on stage instead of just having random opening acts that they might not know as closely,” Siroskey said.

Broadstock agreed.

“It’s a good way to showcase a side of Ohio State culture that a lot of people don’t see. There are a lot of independent musicians creating a lot of good music. But it’s only seen in certain circles. Giving these (student) musicians an opportunity to present their work on stage is exciting,” Broadstock said.

Eric Blaha, a guitarist for indie band Captain Kidd, said he is thrilled he is able perform for the benefit concert.

“It’s always great to be playing for a certain cause such as a benefit concert because there’s a ton of people who are passionate about it,” aid Blaha, a member of the Musicians’ Collective and a third-year in marketing.

There’s nothing better.”

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