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Concert to Benefit World Camp for Kids

Organization sends volunteers to Africa.

From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Pantana Bob's on Rosemary Street will host a benefit concert for World Camp for Kids, a nonprofit organization founded by UNC students that sends volunteers to educate poor children in Malawi.

All of the proceeds from the show's $5 cover charge will go to help paying travel and living costs for about 40 volunteers signed on for the three-month program this summer.

Baker Henson, a former UNC student and co-founder of the organization, said the total cost of travel, lodging and food for each volunteer is about $3,600.

Henson said the organization's volunteers try to raise money through grant-writing, letter campaigns and special events so that students aren't discouraged from volunteering.

"It seems hypocritical to have to pay to volunteer," Henson said. "We really don't want anyone to be turned away because they can't afford the cost."

Jesse Pipes, co-director of World Camp for Kids, said the organization had success hosting two different benefit concerts at Pantana Bob's last year. Pipes said those concerts drew 300 to 500 people per show.

Pipes said he expects an equally strong turnout because the concert will feature three acts, more than past benefit concerts.

Performing at the show will be acoustic guitar duo John Kurtz and Ben Cashatt and local bands Motives and Sequence. All three acts are performing for free.

Pipes said both bands combine eclectic musical styles, with Motives blending hip hop and jazz and Sequence fusing jazz and rock.

Kevin Timmons, keyboardist for Motives and a UNC junior, said he signed up his band for the show because of his own involvement as a volunteer for World Camp for Kids. Timmons said he plans to travel to Africa this summer as part of the organization.

"It's a really great cause first off," Timmons said. "And in addition, there's the cultural awareness you get from spending that much time in another country."

The organization was founded by Henson and former UNC student Laura Ivey after they took a trip through Africa in the summer of 2000.

Henson said that by educating under-privileged children on health and environmental issues, the organization aims to give those children an escape from the hardships of their homeland.

"It gives them a chance to be kids," Baker said. "Even if it's only for two days, it gives them a break from the trauma in their lives and lets them express themselves."

Pipes said that with the number of volunteers for the organization increasing each year, he expects tonight's concert to be the first of several this year.

"We're trying to make (concerts) a regular event."

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