Wake Forest student organizes benefit concert for China earthquake victims
September 16, 2008
After hearing about the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province China last May, Wake Forest University senior Glenn Zhao decided he had to do something to help the victims, so he organized a benefit concert to raise funds for relief efforts.
The concert, which will feature musical performances and speakers, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in Brendle Recital Hall. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross Society of China, which is directly involved in rebuilding efforts in Sichuan Province.
Wake Forest student groups Chi Rho, Minor Variation, Demon Divas and the Gospel Choir will perform at the concert. Speakers, who will be announced at a later date, will address the impact of the earthquake on the Sichuan region and individual families.
The disaster caught Zhao’s attention not only because of the enormous damage, but also because his grandparents had lost close friends in the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, which killed over 240,000 people. Zhao, who was born in China, said he was also deeply affected by the suffering of the families of schoolchildren.
“In one image after another, I saw devastated parents falling on their knees while holding onto the dead body of their only child,” said Zhao. “Seeing that suffering made me realize I could no longer be merely a sympathetic observer.”
Zhao and his family began mobilizing in small ways to help contribute to relief efforts. His mother set up a donation box for the Red Cross Society of China at her workplace. His brother spoke at his high school graduation ceremony about the importance of helping with the relief effort in China, and Zhao, with the help of his friends, decided on a benefit concert. “I see this as a great way to mobilize my larger family, the Wake Forest community, to live out our motto, ‘Pro Humanitate.’”