Volunteer group hosts benefit concert

Sarah Lawson

Saints of Valory, a local alternative band, rocked the Student Activity Center to raise money for senior citizens.

The Saturday benefit concert was planned by the UT organization Senior Smiles. Senior Smiles is a service organization under the University of Texas Student Volunteer Board. Senior Smiles works to give back to the elderly community in Austin. All proceeds from the benefit concert will be used to throw a Senior Prom for a local retirement home.

Director of the organization, pre-pharmacy sophomore Ashley Fosshat said she got the idea for Saints of Valory to play because she won a Facebook ticket contest and got hooked on their music.

“Basically, I won the tickets to one of their shows,” Fosshat said. “That gave me the idea of inviting them to UT, and when they said yes, I was so happy.”

Fosshat said Senior Smiles raised roughly $600 total, and there will be a volunteer reach out day on Saturday, Nov. 12 for the greater Austin and UT community.

“The money we raised tonight should be more than enough to hire a DJ and buy some cute decorations for a nice Senior Prom,” Fosshat said.

The co-director of Senior Smiles, Breighl Mobley, said the organization also volunteers at local retirement homes, and its mission is to bring smiles to the faces of senior citizens who may not be visited often by their families.

“The thing I like about our organization the most is that it is a volunteer organization that goes only to the seniors in Austin, so you know it will help those in our community,” Mobley said.

Fosshat said the organization currently volunteers at the Barton Hills private nursing home, but it hopes to throw the prom at a state-sponsored facility where the needs are greater.

English sophomore Wendy Anderson said she is proud to be a member of the organization because it makes her feel good.

Saints of Valory is a really great band, and they did an awesome job,” Anderson said. “Since our organization is local, it is nice that we invited a local band. It creates a great sense of community.”

One concert attendee, Heather McDaniel, came from Tennessee to visit her friend and said she decided to go to the concert to support the cause.

“I’m always into trying new things,” McDaniel said. “I think it’s so awesome that the band agreed to do this for the senior community.”

Printed on Monday, November 7, 2011 as: Volunteer group hosts benefit concert, raises money for retirement home prom