By Dan Thomas
An audience gathered in the basement of Make.Shift Art Space to dance, listen to music and raise money for a debilitating disease.
The show was held to raise awareness and funds for Multiple Sclerosis. Specifically, the donations will go towards the Walk MS: Bellingham fundraiser.
Sophomore Andrea Entz, the event coordinator and Walk MS team captain, introduced the bands playing at the event.
Entz has two family members who were diagnosed with MS. Entz’s father, Herb, has very few symptoms while Jessica, Entz’s sister, has more severe symptoms, Entz said.
“I know everybody comes from different experiences and there’s the whole, ‘You shouldn’t not be sad because someone is sadder,’” Entz said. “But sometimes when I think, ‘I’m not going to go to the gym today,’ or, ‘I’m not going to dance because somebody’s going to look at me like I’m stupid,’ I think about Jessica and I think about how she doesn’t even have the option to do that.”
Herb and Jessica’s experiences are the reason Entz works to organize events like this.
“It was an idea in the back of my mind and then I saw that the [Make.Shift] does benefit shows and I was like, ‘Hey, what if we did the thing here?’” Entz said. “Bellingham is so full of artists that I knew I had friends who would perform.”
The benefit lasted three hours, with each artist performing six songs and short breaks for stage changes.
“Not only does [the money go] towards research, it also focuses on housing and disability access for these people, and I think it’s a really good cause,” Max Koh, the single member of Full Time Part Timer, said. “Bringing the community into it is always fun.”
For 28 years, Walk MS has worked to fund research and critical programs for people affected by MS, according to the National MS Society.
“Any time you throw an event like this, one of the main goals is to raise awareness.”
The event ended with an energetic performance from alternative indie band Girlo and Chef.
“I really enjoyed that they all had a unique and different energy,” Sophomore Karlee Foster said.
The performances by Full Time Part Timer, The Blood Capsules, Neon Lilies and Girlo and Chef helped to bring in a crowd, Entz said. The bands and artists played for free, allowing the $6 door charge and all donations to go to Walk MS.
“Any time you throw an event like this, one of the main goals is to raise awareness,” Entz said.
Entz presented at previous Walk MS events and organized a similar fundraiser through Western in 2014.
Entz will walk with more than 400 people at Walk MS: Bellingham event to show support and help raise more money for MS research and critical programs.
The walk will take place 10 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at Hotel Bellwether.