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FOTO sponsors Haiti benefit concert

John Cameron | Thursday, January 28, 2010

Students packed the LaFortune Ballroom Wednesday night for the “Hearts 4 Haiti Benefit Concert.” The concert — sponsored by Friends of the Orphans (FOTO) — raised funds for Haiti relief following the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

The concert featured The Undertones, student-musician Pat McKillen and the Notre Dame Brass Band. The Undertones performed 1990s classics such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The songs were followed by both originals and covers by McKillen, which included a surprisingly successful acoustic rendition of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.”
“I thought the concert was a great showing of the talents and generosity of Notre Dame students,” freshman Erin Wright said.

FOTO, a student club founded by Notre Dame junior Michael Daly and his sister, Saint Mary’s senior Tricia Daly, supports nine orphanages in South America and the Caribbean. The club sends Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s pre-med and nursing students abroad to work in these impoverished countries. The Daly’s parents, a surgeon and nurse, are currently in Haiti addressing the widespread medical emergencies.

“I’ve been amazed at the generosity of the student body,” Michael Daly said. “We’ve already raised over $2,000. I’ve been talking to my parents over satellite phone, and they’ve been saying how much they need medical supplies. The money will go towards supplies for operating rooms and the mobile clinics in the slums.”

The concert is just one of the many ways the Notre Dame community has reached out in support of Haiti. The University pledged the entrance and concession proceeds from the Jan. 23 and 24 men’s and women’s basketball games to Haiti-related charities and aid groups, including the Notre Dame Haiti Program.

These proceeds, when combined with a Student-Athlete Advisory Council collection during the games and a donation of $10,000 from the ND Monogram Club, raised $250,000 for relief.

“Raising this money for the poor in the slums will go a long way,” Daly said, addressing the audience between acts. “They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn. I believe we can bring that dawn to Haiti.”