College students who are home for the holidays are hosting a coffeehouse fundraiser with live music on tonight (Friday night) from 7 to 10 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge.
The young adults hope to generate enough proceeds tonight to give a “very merry” Christmas to the clinic. The coffeehouses have become a reliable and persistent funding source for the clinic. The students have donated more than $12,000 since 2011 from the coffeehouse.
“We give them 100 percent of what we bring in, ” said Sumner Byrne, George Washington University student and event organizer. “It feels great to be making a difference.”
Byrne said many students who participate attend different colleges.
“This is a great place to get together, enjoy old friends, and make some new ones,” Byrne said. “The coffeehouse music provided by local musicians is always superb, and we raise money for a good cause. How much better can it get?”
The coffeehouse format includes 10-minute breaks between each set of performers to both reset the stage, and to intentionally build in time for socializing.
“The format works for us,” Byrne said. “The socializing time is loud, because a hundred people start talking all at once over fun house music, but the audience instantly hushes itself and lends rapt attention when the next performer steps to the stage. It is a good mix of performance and social time. “
Tonight’s lineup includes everything from dance to duets to a stand-up comedy act, a press release said. Ellen Bast of Goucher College in Baltimore will perform a modern dance with Taylor Gober; Lindsey Chinn who attends Carnegie Mellon as a music performance major will perform with local recording artist, Adam Moreno of Pellissippi State; Devin Earheart of UT Knoxville will be performing a stand-up comedy routine; and many other talented local musicians for a total of nine acts will be entertaining the crowd, the release said.
“We have a variety of people in the audience of the coffeehouse—grandmothers, parents and little brothers and sisters of performers, people from the community who read about it in the paper, plus all the college students,” Byrne said. “All are welcome.”
Tonight’s coffeehouse will be held in the Activity building in Room 102 of First Presbyterian Church located at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Admission is $3, and hotdogs, cupcakes, and ice cream will be available for sale.