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MC uses power of music to raise money

April 15, 2011

Many students at Monmouth College are competitive athletes who take pride participating in their sport. However, there are also many individuals around the world who are unable to share this experience due to physical disabilities. “Almost Famous 2.0,”  a band consisting of Professor Jeff Roegner, Gavin Halpin, Ben Peterson and Anna Bradac, is hosting its second annual concert on Tuesday, April 26, to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

“We’re playing an electric mix of songs that appeal to a bunch of different age groups,” said Bradac. “There’s some jazz, blues, Latin and rock.”

According to Roegner, the basic mission of the CAF is to provide opportunities for people with physical disabilities to complete in athletics by supplying necessary equipment, such as hand cycles, wheel chairs, etc. The overall goal is to allow people to have the same freedom to enjoy sports, which encourages self-esteem and enhances the quality of life.

The CAF was originally started to help Jim Mac- Laren, who was hit by a bus and suffered below-knee amputation. Even after the surgery, MacLaren continued to be involved and sports and ran the Iron Man World Championship in 10 hours and 42 minutes. During the bike portion of a triathlon in 1993, MacLaren was hit by a van that had gone through a closed intersection and he was thrown into a pole, which caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down.

MacLaren’s friends Bob Babbitt, Jeffrey Essakow and Rick Kozlowski organized a fundraising triathlon at La Jolla Cove with the hopes of raising $25,000 for his recovery. The fundraiser ended up raising $48,000 and eventually evolved into the CAF.

Tickets for the concert, which will be held at the Dahl Chapel, have been lowered to $5.

“Tickets [last year] weren’t priced as they should have been,” said Rogener. “They were $7 for students and $10 for faculty, which was too high for college students.”

Roegner said he is hoping to use last years’ experience to encourage even more people to attend this year’s concert.

“I learned that for the first year, you should be focused on getting as many people there as possible, while my goal was focused around how much money we were going to raise,” said Roegner. “When you’re passionate about something, you automatically assume everyone else is going to jump on board, but it takes time to build in a following.”

In addition to the concert, there will be a silent auction with prizes ranging from T-shirts to gift certificates to massages. There will also be a raffle with a grand prize based off of ticket sales. As an added bonus, ticket stubs will be good for a free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cone during final’s week.

“Almost Famous 2.0” will also be joined by special musical guests, including the Scotsmen. The pipe band will also be preforming during the intermission.

“This benefit concert will be a grand slam,” said Halpin. “This will be a great opportunity to hear a wide variety of music and to have an overall splendid evening.”

Features Editor

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