Benefit concert invites Columbia to 'Hear for Haiti'

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 10:22 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 10, 2010

COLUMBIA — Kat Hedstrom learned about the Haiti earthquake from her 19-year-old sister during winter break in Minnesota.

"Has anyone seen the news yet?" she asked, and when everyone switched on the television and watched the quake news coverage unfold, Hedstrom's life changed.

Hear for Haiti Benefit Concert

When: Thursday, Feb. 11, dinner at 7 p.m. and concert from 8 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Where: The Blue Note

What to expect: Dinner sponsored by Forge and Vine, Room 38 and Flat Branch Pub and Brewery. The bands that will play include The Paperclips, New Locomotive, Hilary Scott, Noah Earle and John Gurney. Leslie Scott from BXR/102.3 will emcee at the event.

Ticket price: $10

Ticket purchase: Tickets can be bought at any Ticketmaster location, online at and at the MU Student Center. Money from ticket sales will be donated to the Haitian Relief Fund through the American Red Cross.

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"When I watched the news on the earthquake, it felt like a movie. But I reminded myself that this was actually happening, and I needed to do something," she said.

Hedstrom wanted to organize people to improve the lives of the Haitians. Although she has never done anything like it, she believed having a concert would be the best way to get the Columbia community involved in raising funds.

"I think Columbians, especially students from the University of Missouri-Columbia, have an appreciation of music," said the Missouri School of Journalism senior. "And a concert is a fun way to get more people to help out."

Hedstrom named the concert "Hear for Haiti Benefit Concert."

"I like it because the word 'hear' could have two meanings and seemed appropriate for a concert," she said, explaining that "hear" could also mean "here" for Haiti.

When she returned to school, she found a partner, sponsors and bands to help realize her goal. Although it was her first time organizing an event for charity, she enjoyed the process, she said.

Five Columbia bands will perform at The Blue Note on Thursday, with all proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross' efforts in the poverty-stricken country: John Gurney, Noah Earle, Hilary Scott, New Locomotive and The Paperclips.

Singer and songwriter Noah Earle said that after helping out at a recent charity event, he was eager to do something more.

"I feel strongly about the plight of the Haitians," he said. "It's heart breaking."

Earle likes to sing at charity events whenever he has the time to do so, he said. However, he feels that his voluntary act is just a "small gesture."

"I have music, but not money to offer. So performing at the concert is the very least I can do to feel better about my relative powerlessness to help," he said.

Forge and Vine restaurant will pay for appetizers at the concert, General Manager Tyler Woodsome said.

"We are always willing to lend a hand whenever we can," Woodsome said.

Hedstrom wanted to also sell shirts at the show, so she contacted Acme about making shirts as another fundraiser for the "Hear for Haiti" concert. The company offered to donate 100 percent of the revenue from concert shirt sales to the American Red Cross.

Hedstrom said she hopes to raise at least $3,000 for Haiti.

"I hope everyone can continue to be aware of the devastation in Haiti, think of the people and help them," she said.

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