The Shack Band Jams For A Cause At Relay For Life 2009: Local Efforts

The Shack Band jams for a cause at Relay for Life

Local efforts hold the key to generating a more powerful message, even if that means starting in downtown Blacksburg.
Although the current circumstances have shifted the approach, playing local shows for charity surely hold intrinsic benefits on its own – especially if you’ve been asked to play on the Drillfield for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. “It always feels good to get out there and get your hands dirty for a good cause,” Owen said. “You get to play on the Drillfield, play for a ton of people, and help raise money for a good cause.” Proven over and over, music is often the remedy. Music is medication for many occasions – whether it was Jimi Hendrix’s redemptive rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1969 at Woodstock on a sweaty August day, or the German’s singing “Stille Nacht,” which echoed into the ears of American soldiers of the 101st Airborne division encircled in the woods outside of Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. Today, there is an uprising in similar efforts much closer to home. “It’s really a win-win,” said Owen. “We get to raise money for a great cause and we get the opportunity to play in front of so many people.” It was an opportunity well taken. The Shack Band, along with Dog Lips and Naturally Sharp, contributed to making Virginia Tech the number one Relay for Life event in the country, which broke every prescribed record. The Shack Band’s music reached the ears of the 480 teams, composed of more than 5,300 people. As they set up their equipment around 1 a.m., the group was eager to contribute. They helped raise funds to what eventually figured to be around $482,000 toward the fight against cancer.
The gig was offered via Relay For Life’s entertainment coordinator Kristen Walker. Walker, an international studies and Spanish double major, first got involved in Relay For Life as a participant at Tech and at her home in Williamsburg. After deciding to take her involvement in Relay For Life further this past year, Walker applied for the executive committee position and was chosen for entertainment chair.

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