An issue in Kenya became local to Kent Thursday night at Bar 145.
The restaurant hosted a benefit concert at 10 p.m. to raise money for children from rural Kenya.
Olivia Hartman, graduate student in the public health master’s program, organized the event after spending seven weeks in Kenya with four other graduate students.
During their time in Kenya, Hartman and other graduates students got experience in clinical work.
“I personally volunteered in the pharmacy at the Mama Pillista Memorial Clinic,” Hartman said. “I helped with vaccinations, delivering babies, and treating patients.”
Hartman said it was her interaction with children in Kenya that prompted her to organize Thursday’s benefit concert.
“A lot of children over there (Kenya) aren’t able to finish high school because they can’t afford to. I really wanted to do something to help them.”
Bar 145 donated $500 to the cause. Laura Bevington, graduate student in the public health master’s program, said she hoped to see that number doubled by the end of the night.
“One thousand dollars goes a much longer way in Kenya than it does over here,” Bevington said. “To raise that amount would be incredible for the cause.”
The Youngstown band Jones for Revival provided music for the show. James DeCapua, lead singer and guitarist, said the band was happy to be involved with the event.
“We’re good friends of Olivia, and she brought up the idea of us doing this concert when she got back from Kenya,” DeCapua said. “It was really easy to say yes because it’s a great cause that she’s very passionate about.”
Aside from raising money, DeCapua said there was a bigger goal for the evening.
“As a band, our goal was really to unite people through music and raise awareness,” DeCapua said. “It’s local people helping out our brothers and sisters, if you will, from other parts of the world. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Hartman said no matter how much money was raised, she was happy to see a community come together for a cause.
“It really means a lot to have the support of the community,” Hartman said. “They’re giving an opportunity to someone they’ve never see before, and I think that’s really special.”
All proceeds of Thursday’s concert will go to Bonyo’s Kenya Mission, a non-profit organization that sponsors Kenyan children. For more information about the organization, visit http://www.bonyoskenyamission.org/.
Contact Endya Watson at [email protected]