Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Parish Youth Group Host Music & Art Benefit for HCA

While it’s not unusual for young adults to spend their Saturday nights attending live concerts, one church youth group did something out of the ordinary with their Saturday night—they put on their own live concert. The seventy plus members of the First Parish Youth Group marketed, played in, sold tickets for and MCed their Music & Art Benefit on Saturday, April 28 to support our 11th Annual Walk for Affordable Housing, which took place the next day.

The youth group’s theme for the year was Homes & Homelessness. When choosing a beneficiary for the Music & Art Benefit, the group wanted something that benefited Arlington as a community—something close to home rather than in Boston or another city. HCA's Walk for Affordable Housing was also the next day, and many of the youth were signed up to go.

Erika Tai, the Social Action Coordinator of the First Parish Youth Group, stated, “This year, we realized how much the issue of homes and homelessness affects Arlington. Usually, when we think of these concerns, we think of them in the context of big cities, like Boston. Before this year, many of us did not understand how much these issues affect Arlington.”

A night of live music, a silent art auction and food donated from Anna’s Taqueria, this benefit is the First Parish Youth Group’s largest fundraiser each year. Several groups of young talent played original pieces. Others performed covers of their favorite recent hits. All the art was donated from the local community—youth group members, high school students, and adults inside the church.

“The feeling throughout the night was great, and it was one of the most successful fundraisers we’ve held, raising $3,000 in one evening,” remarked Erika.

Debby Lewis, longtime HCA board member and First Parish member, spoke to the crowd, “The First Parish Youth Group has been supportive of our Walk for the past eleven years, but this year, they really outdid themselves! We are so appreciative of their energy, support and dedication to affordable housing issues in Arlington.”