The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday December 7th


Durham group, Coalition to Unchain Dogs, hosts benefit concert

Durham Central Park is going to the dogs.

The Coalition to Unchain Dogs is hosting its 7th annual benefit concert, Music for Fences, today from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the park to help raise funds and awareness for their organization.

Amanda Arrington, the founder and executive director of the coalition, said that in addition to a concert — which will feature performances by five bands — the event will include a raffle, a kid’s zone and various food vendors.

Arrington, founder of the Durham-based group, said the coalition targets impoverished areas and neighborhoods, going door to door and offering to build fences and provide free spay and neuter operations and vaccinations for families who cannot afford to provide these for their pets.

She said the group has built fences for over 2,500 dogs and provided spay and neuter operations for over 3,000 so far.

“Unfortunately, as long as there’s poverty, there’s going to be people that need our help taking care of their pets,” she said.

The organization has grown since its 2006 foundation and has chapters throughout the state. The group even hosts fundraisers year-round, including a fashion show called Fashion Unchained, which is the group’s biggest event.

Among the performing bands is the Winston-Salem based group Jeffery Dean Foster and the Birds of Prey and Chapel Hill band Morning Brigade.

Gabriel Reynolds, the pianist for Morning Brigade, said the group has no definite set list for the event, as it is their first time participating. A good friend of the band, who happened to be one of the benefit concert’s organizers, convinced the group to perform.

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Jeffery Dean Foster has attended Music for Fences for several years, but this is the first time his band has played in the concert.

Foster sees the show as a good opportunity for his group to take a break from working in the studio, where they has been busy creating their new record, and reacquaint themselves with performing live while supporting a good cause.

“This show is about so much more than our songs or our band or even the other acts,” he said.

Nathan Spain, drummer for Morning Brigade, said he believes the most important thing for young musicians to do is to stay true to the type of music they want to play.

“Being in a band is not about playing what people want to hear. It’s about playing what you want to hear,” Spain said.

He hopes people who come to the benefit concert will focus on learning more about the Coalition to Unchain Dogs.

“I don’t really want to distract people from what is a really good cause,” Spain said.

Arrington said the event as has a dual purpose.

“We want it to be enjoyable but also informative,” she said.

As far as the future, Arrington said she hopes the Coalition to Unchain Dogs will be able to continue to offer their services to people in need.

“It’s about dogs, but we’re really a people focused organization.”

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