posted April 22, 2008

Benefit Concert to Support Malaria Relief

Hope College students are teaming up with Golden 8 Ball Billiards to raise money through a national program to help send lifesaving anti-malaria bed nets to those most in need in Africa.

The student band "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" will present a benefit concert at Golden 8 Ball Billiards on Saturday, April 26. The concert will follow a benefit pool tournament, scheduled in support of the same effort, that the local pool hall will be hosting earlier in the evening.

The activity is scheduled in conjunction with a nationwide effort organized by the United Nations Foundation's "Nothing But Nets" (NBN) Campaign, a global, grassroots drive to prevent malaria, to commemorate the first-ever World Malaria Day (April 25, 2008) and to encourage individuals to take action.

The doubles tournament will begin at 7:30 p.m. The concert will begin at 9:30 p.m. Admission to the event will be $3, with all proceeds going to NBN.

The concert, which will begin with opener Stephen Tracy, a freshman from Oak Park, Ill., will feature Hope students Patrick Crumb, a sophomore from Zeeland; Bob Flavin, a junior from PalosHeights; Colin Hoogerwerf, a sophomore from Holland; and Ross Reynolds, a sophomore from Coppersville. The band members are also members of a student NBN group named the "Phelps Philanthropists" whose goal is to raise $200 for fighting malaria.

"We are excited to have Golden 8 Ball Billiards and Hope College students join us in our efforts to raise awareness about malaria and to send nets and save lives," said Elizabeth Gore, executive director of "Nothing But Nets." "Throughout April, 'Nothing But Nets' is teaming up with millions of Americans like these to take action to help us cover a continent with life-saving nets. By joining together we can make a difference in the lives of children in Africa."

Although malaria has been eliminated in the United States, it still kills more than one million people each year - most of whom are children in Africa. Every 30 seconds a child in Africa dies from malaria. Bed nets are one of the most cost-effective and simple methods of preventing the spread of the deadly disease. The "Nothing But Nets" campaign provides concerned individuals an easy, tangible way to get involved in the global fight against malaria. A $10 donation is all it takes to purchase and distribute a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net and educate the recipient on its proper use.

"Nothing But Nets" is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, tens of thousands of people have joined the Campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association's NBA Cares, The People of the United Methodist Church, and "Sports Illustrated."

To date, the campaign has raised more than $18 million from more than 60,000 individuals, and has successfully distributed more than 700,000 nets. Additional information about the "Nothing But Nets" campaign is available at www.NothingButNets.net/WorldMalariaDay.

Golden 8 Ball Billiards is located at 254 S. River Ave. in Holland.