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Hear2Help event to benefit local charities

By Shana Hamilton

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 14 2011 5:57 p.m. MDT

A group of volunteers is organizing Hear2Help, a benefit concert on April 16. From back left to right: Jeff Shirts, Romy Banfield, Kye Stoker, and Monica Dunlap. From front left to right: Alexa Ramsey, Greg Bates, and Madison Ramsden.

Greg Bates

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Several local bands are taking part in a community event to raise money for three charities.

Hear2Help will feature five bands playing in the gazebo at The Shops at Riverwoods in Provo on April 16 from 7 p.m. until approximately 11 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Those attending will be urged to vote for a favorite band by making a monetary donation.

“Each band will have a donation box specific to them, and private donations are what facilitate the voting process,” said Greg Bates, one of the event’s organizers. “The band that garners the most donations from the public is considered the winner for the evening and receives a special grand prize that we announce at the concert.”

All of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to three local agencies:

  • The Utah County Children’s Justice Center, which is a place where abused children are interviewed and receive medical exams in a child-friendly environment.
  • Help International, which facilitates humanitarian trips to Africa for local college students.
  • Now I Can, which specializes in providing physical therapy for disabled children in families that otherwise can't afford it.

“We feel that we’ve chosen three charities from completely different sectors to really give it a mass appeal,” Bates said.

The three charities will also have representatives at the event so people can find out more about them and also volunteer if they’re so inclined.

“There are so many ways to volunteer and so many ways to get involved because of all the charities we have, but people don’t know where to go to get involved with those,” Bates said. “Having the charities at the benefit concert brings the community service to the community rather than the volunteer going out and finding them for themselves.”

Bates, a Utah Valley University student, and Alexa Ramsey, a Brigham Young University student, came up with the idea for Hear2Help after they met through their work with a national disaster relief organization.

“I think it’s important for one to serve and get involved in their community,” Ramsey said. “What better way to accomplish this than working with fellow peers, community leaders and individuals committed to making a difference? Service is key to a happy community, and I just love stuff like this.”

They wanted to have an event that would not only raise money but also be fun for people.

“It’s a fundraising event that is targeted at promoting community awareness for the three organizations that we chose in what we feel is an untapped format,” Bates said. “With the benefit concert, we’ve created this atmosphere of getting a really fun reason for people to come out, and the presence of the agencies and the causes they support are the reason to stay at the benefit concert.”

The bands providing entertainment will be The Lunatic, The Anser, Soft Science, The Brocks and The Blind Actuaries, all of which are family-friendly, Bates said.

“They are all local talent and, just like the charities we chose, have strong ties to the Utah County community,” he said.

People who are passing by the event or don’t want to vote for a band will be able to make a general donation as well. More information about Hear2Help and the bands is available by searching for the “Hear2Help” event page on Facebook.

Shana Hamilton oversees the volunteer program at the Children's Justice Center. She is also a professor of Communication and English at Utah Valley University.

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