ASAP Benefit Concert: Fighting Poverty with Music

By: Gareth Kaye Last Updated: June 1, 2013

The Alliance of Students Against Poverty was formed in 2010 at Valparaiso High School by Peter Fink and Domi Szabo, and since then the club has gone a long way from a small group of friends playing freelance in a small computer lab to a large, well known philanthropic group in the school, and community.

The club has a variety of fundraising events such as "Ping Pong versus Poverty" in the Fall and "Hoops against Hunger" in the Winter, but the one event that even non-club members look forward to most is the annual benefit concert for Valparaiso's Hilltop House that was held in the loading dock of Valpo Velvet Ice Cream Shoppe on Friday night.

"This has been the best night of my year," JP Kunze said, guitarist of the band Flight 10:50 who performed that night.

The idea of the night is to host a free concert for everyone to attend, with a suggested donation, asking those in attendance to give what they can to the Hilltop House. In the end, through the power of great music and charity, over $800 dollars were raised by the nights’ end. The concert was set up into three slots for three bands: Johnnedy Ken F., a funk fusion group; Flight 10:50 featuring Blake Beisen, and ending the night with an hour and five minute long set by Elke -a band consisting of ASAP's founding members Peter Fink (drums/vocals) and Domi Szabo (bass) and John Miller (guitar, synth/vocals) and featuring the talents of Greer and Luke Brown as well.

This has personally been my favorite event to cover in my time working here, I’ve been a member of ASAP since its early time and this club is one of the most active, and influential at the high school in making a difference in the lives of others. The night may have started out raining, but the crowd never let it get them down. Even when the bands had finished their sets, members from each of the groups stuck around for an impromptu jam session to end the night with some more excellent music, and dancing.

"That was really awesome,"  Duff Breakey said in response to being asked what he thought of the shows.

"It's just a really fun way to enjoy yourself, and fight a huge issue in today's world that we don't address enough." Fink said when asked what his feelings on the night were.

High school students are often thought of being noisy, rude, obnoxious, and selfish, but that night each of those stereotypes (except for noisy) were turned on their heads as many students from even outside of Valparaiso High School gathered to enjoy something they love, and to fight the spread of poverty in Northwest Indiana.

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