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Funk for a Cause to Benefit Karen Refugees Locally and Abroad
Students Darcy Cherlin and Alison Joy will hold a benefit concert and comedy improv show on Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. at Funk n’ Waffles, 727 S. Crouse Ave.
Admission is $5. Those attending are asked to bring donations of clothing that will be distributed to Karen refugees in Syracuse. Each clothing item will discount the admission price by $1, with five articles of clothing allowing guests to enter for free. Proceeds from the show will help fund access to medical facilities for Karen refugees in Thailand.
The Karen is an ethnic group from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), a nation that has been plagued by civil war since gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1948. Many Karen fled across Myanmar’s border to Thailand. About 700 Karen refugees live in Syracuse.
The idea to hold a benefit came from Cherlin’s experience tutoring Karen children in a Syracuse public school, and performing research in Thailand over winter break for her Honors Program capstone. She saw the challenges that Karen people living in the jungles of Thailand faced in accessing medical services.
Cherlin also traveled with several Karen who work to provide transportation to Thai hospitals and funds for medical services. “However, the Karen people face constant struggles due to monetary limitations,” says Cherlin. “The Karen make up a large portion of the refugee community here in Syracuse as well, so the fundraiser aims to serve both the Karen in our local community and those who have been displaced abroad.”
The show will feature singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff York with Zeke Leonard, assistant professor of design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the student improv group Best Restaurant in Town.
Cherlin is a senior in The College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in medical anthropology, and Joy is a senior in The College of Arts and Sciences and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, majoring in television, radio, and film and Italian. Both are 2013-14 Remembrance Scholars, and organized an arts gala in October as part of Remembrance Week 2013.
For more information on Funk for a Cause, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/647570238649770/.