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Lending a Hand: Society for Professional Journalists Hosts Benefit Concert for Japan Relief

Written by Nicole Ogrysko
4/25/2011

Melissa Daneke '13, along with the rest of the members of IC Premium Blend, perform at the Japan Benefit Concert. Photo by Matt Prokosch.

The recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan has been documented as the country's most devastating disaster since World War II. Though organizations like the Red Cross have been quick to respond to the catastrophe with hundreds of medical and response teams, many haven't been as compelled to send their support. Now, a club at Ithaca College is stepping up to lend a hand. 

Ithaca College's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosted a small benefit concert April 13, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross relief effort in Japan. A variety of IC favorites showed their support, with performances from hip hop dancers IC Pulse, student band The Red Cups, IC Ballroom, and Premium Blend.   

Oshan Gunawardana '12 performs at the Japan Benefit Concert. Photo by Matt Prokosch.

Society of Professional Journalists is a national organization that seeks to adopt ethical standards and promote free speech rights for journalists. Ithaca College has a student-run chapter on campus, which meets a few times a month to hold social media workshops, current event discussions, and guest speaker presentations. 

SPJ president Julianne Feller said the group wanted to show their support and contribute to the Red Cross aid projects. 

"I knew that something had to be done to aid Japan relief," she said. "If no other groups were willing to do something, we though the responsibility was ours." 

IC Premium Blend performs at the Japan Benefit Concert. Photo by Matt Prokosch.

Though the event was small, the energy from many of the performers was lively and filled the room. 

Maya Kachoo-Levine, vice president of SPJ, said it was upsetting to hear that many Americans typically did not donate to Japan because of the common perception that country did not need outside aid. She said college campus initiatives can be powerful and SPJ hoped to affect such change. 

IC Ballroom dancers, Danielle Carrier '12 and Vince Whitney '11, perform at the Japan Benefit Concert. Photo by Matt Prokosch.

"However much we raised, large or small, it was money we could send," Kachoo-Levine said. "We were proud to send it to the Red Cross." 

Oshan Gunawardana '12 performs at the Japan Benefit Concert. Photo by Matt Prokosch.


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