A Night to Remember

Over the summer, the idea of planning a benefit concert fundraiser came to me when I was playing some fun jazz ensemble music. I was really excited about the possibility of sharing my passion in music through raising money for a great cause and at the time, it hadn’t occurred to me that the Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program would be the perfect theme. When KCCP week came around in October, our LTG, Ishu Poudyal, encouraged us to raise awareness. As a club president, I organized a miracle minute with my officer team at our school, Camas High School, and we ended up raising over $300 in one day.

The amazing experience of making an impact as Key Clubbers never fails to enhance one’s love for service. Having always heard amazing stories of Key Clubs raising over $1000 for service projects, I was so proud to be taking baby steps with my club on a shared journey of making caring our way of life. During KCCP week, my club’s activeness prompted me to really delve into KCCP’s mission and the realization hit me — the realization that KCCP would be the perfect theme for the concert I had always wanted to be a part of.

I remember sharing my plans at one of our divisional board get-togethers and Ishu changing my amateur name for the concert from “Benefit Concert Fundraiser” to “Concert to Cure”. You know things are about to get lit when your event gets an official name.

I reserved our school’s theater for the night of December 8 and low-key stalked down every musician I could find. The concert later ended up receiving too many performance applications but that was a great problem to have. My officer team and I continued to elaborate on the plan as December approached. We added a pie raffle, bracelet fundraiser, and a guest speaker to the event program. I emailed the Fellowship Program of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at our local partnered hospital, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, inquiring about possibly getting one of the fellows to speak at the concert. To my pleasant surprise, a third-year fellow responded and confirmed her attendance.

The concert was the best hectic experience of my Key Club journey so far. From being at school for over 12 hours (it was a school day on Friday) for set-up to hosting a DCM in the library at the same time to climbing the steepest ladder in the world to the theater’s control booth, I was just about ready to collapse from fatigue. But I knew my club had my back. My treasurer, Grace, arrived at the scene with balloons to light up the mood onstage, my advisors came through with our school’s cashboxes, and my fellow Key Club volunteers cheered me up with their contagious humor.

When I stepped onto the stage to welcome everyone, I was met with an amazing turn-out I didn’t expect. The guest speaker shared her experiences with KCCP and set the evening off to a great start. Despite some technical difficulties with an electric guitar and ending a lot later than planned, the concert went smoothly. Before long, I was home, kicking off my heels with the night’s events racing through my mind. My advisor had estimated that we raised $600 and I remember feeling beyond grateful for my club members as well as Division 44’s support.

The next school day on Monday, my school’s ASB bookkeeper surprised me with the news that our grand total was $863.50!! I could barely process how one concert — at one school — that was my school — had raised so much in two hours. I can’t thank everyone who attended enough for their support and all I can say is that I’m so blessed to be a part of the Pacific Northwest District with leaders like Ishu who inspire me every day to take action and make a difference.