Teens rock out in concert for local charity

Seven local teen bands will perform at the third annual Youth Charity Jam April 15, at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center in downtown Rockford. The event supports scholarships for area students and is organized by In Youth We Trust of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

Bands ranging from pop, punk, rave, and heavy metal to modern rock will perform from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St., Rockford. Tickets are $6 at the door, or $5 in advance by calling the Community Foundation at 962-2110, ext. 11. For more information, visit the Youth Charity Jam Web site at www.cfnil.org/charityjam.

“This year’s line-up is excellent. We had 30 bands apply for the seven available slots. That’s the most we’ve ever had apply!” says Jackie Jones, a Harlem High School junior and lead organizer of the event. “With that many bands to choose from, we were sure to have a great bill.”

Following an extensive application process, including live auditions, the bands selected to play include the following:

6:30 p.m. Out By Midnight 7:15 p.m. Asylum

8 p.m. Here’s to the End 8:45 p.m. The Sound 9:30 p.m. Mark Maffioli & Friends

10:15 p.m. Kissing Kimberly

11 p.m. The New Deal

Each band is playing free of charge to assist In Youth We Trust raise money for the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois Scholarship Fund. The fund provides four-year scholarship support to deserving students. “This is a great chance to do what I love and help out other kids. Playing for free was an easy choice for me,” says Youth Charity Jam performer Mark Maffioli, a student at Jefferson High School.

In the past eight years, the scholarship fund has distributed more than $53,300 to students, but the needs of worthy students far exceed available resources.

“The scholarship is dedicated to providing funds for students who financially wouldn’t be able to earn a degree, yet have worked really hard to be successful,” says James Patterson, program officer at the Community Foundation. “Each year, we have to turn down many outstanding applicants due to lack of funds.”

Members of In Youth We Trust see Youth Charity Jam as a way to get young adults throughout the community involved in supporting a good cause while having a great time. “Through surveys we’ve conducted, the In Youth We Trust Council has found that one of the biggest needs for local teens is things to do,” says Alexis Finato, Jefferson junior in charge of marketing for the event. “This event is organized, performed, and attended by youth, and is a direct response to this issue.”

Youth Charity Jam has received tremendous support from the community. Student groups at East, Jefferson, Hononegah, Auburn, Harlem and other high schools have partnered with In Youth We Trust to sell tickets.

Platinum Record Sponsors for the event include Alhark Corporation, Beef-A-Roo, HMC Products, Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, Papa John’s Pizza and WZOK. Gold Record Sponsors include Alpine Bank, Greater Rockford Airport, Wade & Gorman and William Charles Ltd. Hit Single Sponsors include Associated Bank, College Selection Services, Glenwood Center, Hagerty-Peterson, the Jones Family, Komax Systems, Lino’s Restaurant, Mid-City Office Products, Morrissey Law Office, Rockford Associates, Rockford Choppers and Rock Valley Heritage Kiwanis.

In Youth We Trust is a youth leadership development program established in 1994 by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois with a grant from the Ford Foundation. Its advisory council of about 30 area high school students awards grants to other youth programs, and carries out its own community service projects.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is a not-for-profit public foundation that supports charitable programs in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. Through careful endowment management, the Foundation has provided nearly $28 million in charitable grants since its founding in 1953.

From the April 13-19, 2005, issue

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