FBLA Leads Charge Against Cancer Through Concert


The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) are following in the figurative footsteps of Cabaret Night, Coffeehouse and Ram Jam with their latest project: a benefit concert Thursday, Jan. 3 to aid the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, from 2:30 to 4:15 p.m. in Russell Theater.

Senior Brandin Curry, head manager of the event, said he came up with the concept for the concert last year, and is overseeing it in its first year.

“I originally pitched it last year at our states conference, and this year, I’m taking the Event Manager role for FBLA,” Curry said. “This is actually brand new. We’ve never done anything like this before. We saw how successful Cabaret Night, how Ram Jam, how Coffeehouse were, and we wanted to do something like that to try to get more awareness for childhood cancer and the such.”

Curry said admission for the event will be different from that of a regular concert. Rather than pay money to attend, viewers must donate a $5 gift card to various locations, including Wal-Mart, Target, McDonald’s, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.

“The reason we’re doing gift cards is the county actually has a rule where we can only do one check to an organization, so we’re collecting gift cards, which go straight to the families at the hospitals,” Curry said. “I think the event will be very successful, because we’ve already made close to $5,000 without even doing the concert. We’ve been running, going to everybody’s first period, and just collecting from everybody we can: gift cards and toys and whatnot.”

FBLA Adviser Anne Chapman said she believes the concert will attract a large audience because of the effort with which her students promoted it within the school community.

“We’re expecting a great turnout for the concert because we advertised it and publicized it throughout the school and the community,” Chapman said. “We’ve posted it in posters, GMR, we’ve put it on the website, we’ve put it on the flashing boards in the school.”

In addition, Chapman said her high expectations for the event are, in part, due to her students’ diligence in arranging the event.

“My role is really just, I’m supervising; students are doing all the announcing, they’re doing all the ticket collecting, we’re selling slushies and bake sales, I’m just making sure everything runs smoothly,” Chapman said. “That is one of the goals of the project is that our projects are all student-run. This is part of FBLA, this is part of our State Service project that we do every year, though this is the first time we’re doing a concert.”

Though Curry said he does not have an immediate connection to cancer, he is motivated to improve the lives of suffering patients regardless.

“I actually don’t personally know anyone who’s had cancer, but I just feel sad that people have to live through that alone, and these are like little kids, maybe five, six, seven, who have to spend Christmas in the hospital, so I just want to make it better for them,” Curry said.

Chapman said, during her tenure as FBLA Adviser, she has established a special connection with the concert’s cause as well.

“I’ve gotten to know parents personally that have had students in the clinic and have benefited from Project ASK,” Chapman said. “The hospital coordinators have been to Robinson and spoke to our students this year, and have always said how fantastic a job FBLA does. I hope a lot of people will turn out for the concert and support the kids.”