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Concert to aid in Haiti relief effort

Sarah Mervosh | Sunday, January 24, 2010

When junior Michael Daly spent a few weeks in Haiti this summer, it changed him forever. Daly experienced the devastating poverty of the country firsthand as he distributed food in the slums, buried the dead and volunteered at an area hospital. He now hopes to give back by organizing a concert to benefit the Haiti relief effort.

“Victor Hugo once said, ‘Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent,'” Daly, who is co-president of the Friends of the Orphans (FOTO) club, said.

“While in Haiti, I was unable to express my inner emotions and feelings, yet I could not be silent,” he said. “Music helped me … I am inspired to put on a concert in order to denote the healing power of music.”

The Undertones, the New Orleans Brass Band and senior Pat McKillen will perform at The Hearts for Haiti Relief Concert Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom.

The $4 ticket fee and suggested donations will go to the FOTO Haiti Earthquake relief fund, Daly said.

“The money will be used for medical supplies and the basic necessities of life, [like] food and clean water,” he said.   

Daly said he would like to raise as much money as possible to help those in Haiti.

“The situations in Haiti are so gruesome that every cent counts,” he said. “I would like this to be a solid donation.”

Daly said he wants to raise money not only because of his experience in Haiti, but also because his parents and uncle are in Haiti providing medical care.

“This earthquake was personal for my family and me, and I still pray each and every day for my family and friends’ safety,” he said.

“My mother was saying that it feels like a war zone with the constant hovering of helicopters transporting patients from the slums to [the hospital] or from Haiti to the United States,” Daly said.

Daly said he was able to put a concert together quickly because people were very willing to help.

“I made a lot of phone calls and quick office visits to get the concert rolling. [Student body president] Grant Schmidt and [student body vice president] Cynthia Weber were great resources and very helpful in organizing every Haiti relief effort on campus,” he said.

“The bands and music groups were wonderful and very willing to give their services for Haiti,” Daly said. “Everyone’s been very kind and giving and it’s been a huge blessing.”

Daly said he hopes the concert will be inspiring to those who attend and beneficial to those in need in Haiti.

“I want the people to have hope,” Daly said. “Time must not be about dwelling on the past but looking to a hopeful future.”