A concert to benefit student clubs evolved into an effort to help seriously ill children when Amanda John ’12 brought what she learned in the classroom to the stage.
The Nov. 5 event, Acappellooza, featured performances by the Dickinson’s four a cappella groups: The D-Tones, the Infernos, the Syrens and the Octals. It raised funds for Vinny’s Kids, a nonprofit charity that provides toys and entertainment devices for hospitalized and chronically ill children.
John, president of the D-Tones, learned about the charity while working on a group project for a policy-management seminar. The more she learned about the organization, the more she wanted to help. [Story continues below.]
Vinny’s Kids was founded by Vinny Cherry, son of John Cherry, an adjunct professor of policy studies and political science. At seven, Vinny was admitted into the Harrisburg Hospital for surgery. He was surprised to learn that the pediatric ward had few toys and entertainment devices to help children cope with the stresses of hospitalization—and those that it did have were worn. After recuperating, he collected gently used toys, CDs and DVDs to donate to the hospital and to other medical centers and families of young patients. Today, the Harrisburg Hospital hosts Vinny’s Room, an entertainment space, and the organization funds camps for sick and handicapped kids.
The presidents of the a cappella groups donated $140, half the concert's procceeds, to support these efforts. “We're all very happy about it,” John said. Group members plan to make Acappellooza an annual event, and perhaps include a cappella groups from neighboring colleges on the bill.
John said that while it was challenging for the four vocal groups to polish their acts so early in the semester, the vocalists are happy with the end result. “It came together as a success,” she said.
By MaryAlice Bitts Jackson
Photos by Jennifer Crowley '13
See student-produced videos of Acapellooza.