Letters to the Editor

Kent students are making a difference in the world around them

What difference can students make in the wake of environmental disasters? Aren’t they just kids? 

City of Kent Mayor, Suzette Cooke can confirm that Kent students can and are making a positive difference in our community and the world. 

Mayor Cooke attended the three-hour “Rhythm For Relief” benefit concert for international disaster victims last Wednesday night, June 2, organized by National Honor Society students from Kentlake, Kent-Meridian and Kentwood. At the start of the show, Mayor Cooke spoke to the audience, commending all of the students involved in the show. The mayor also spoke about the disaster risks in our region and how fortunate the students are to be able to help others instead of needing to receive disaster relief. 

The benefit concert featured Kentlake, Kent-Meridian and Kentwood students performing in variety of ways: rock bands, piano duets, vocal groups ranging from one to five singers, Indian dancers, a country singer/songwriter, hip-hop artists, Spanish guitar, an improvisational violinist, break-dancers and a routine in which the performer solved a Rubik’s cube while being menaced by a Ninja dancer. The predominantly student audience enthusiastically received all of the performances which were impressive displays of talent, vigor  and creativity. By the last act, a five-piece rock group from Kentlake called Against the Grain, many of the students were on their feet, dancing and screaming in the front row as the band performed their original hard rock numbers. 

Lisa Clarke, the faculty advisor for the benefit, said “I think the event was a great success. Over the past few months officers from the three chapters of the National Honor Society held auditions, solicited sponsors, and created an entertaining program. I was impressed by how well the student leaders worked together and they never lost sight of their purpose. I think all involved: organizers, performers, and audience members, were reminded of the power we have to effect change. We learned that we can have fun while strengthening our community and helping those in need.”

After the show, raffle winners of the gift baskets donated from sponsors were announced by Mayor Cooke. Even with the event tickets modestly priced at $7, the benefit raised over $2,000 for disaster relief. The proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. Event sponsors were: Starbucks, Seattle’s Gourmet Foods, Children’s Book Store, Marble Slab Creamery, Bittersweet.

So “What difference can students make?” Kent students made a difference by working together to raise enough money to provide emergency food and shelter for over 140 disaster victims for one day*. The school’s National Honor Societies hope to make it an annual event by organizing another benefit show next year. 


 *According to “When Disaster Strikes.pdf” from www.redcross.org. 

Chris Clark


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