Karaoke for a cause: Embrace a Child at Wing ‘n’ Sing benefit

Devoni Novak, Assistant News Editor

Zebra Communications, the student-run public relations agency at Wilkes University, will be hosting a “Wing ‘n’ Sing” on Wednesday, April 11, to benefit orphans in Tanzania through the “Embrace a Child in Tanzania” campaign. The Wing ‘n’ Sing will be an all-you-can-eat wing-tasting event and karaoke challenge.

All proceeds will go toward the campaign’s fundraising goal and be used to sponsor children in Karagwe, Tanzania, whose lives have been affected by the AIDS virus.

Senior communications studies major, Sara Cosgrove, who has been working on the campaign since it began in fall 2011, has been looking forward to the Wing ‘n’ Sing all semester.

“I’m looking forward to see who actually wins the wing competition, and I hope we have some funny karaoke performances,” she said.

So far, local restaurants donating chicken wings for Wilkes students, members of the faculty and staff and the community to taste include the Ice House Pub and Bart & Urby’s.

Tasters will be able to vote for their favorite, and the restaurant with the most popular wings will be granted the title, “Wing ‘n’ Sing Champion” and receive a plaque to recognize their victory.

While munching on wings and amusing their taste buds, participants will be able show off their singing ability in the karaoke challenge, or simply relax and be entertained by the musical stylings of the contenders. Attendees will also be able to request the talents of a particular person by donating an amount of money to the campaign. The requested vocalist must sing or else donate an amount that exceeds the sum given by the challenger by at least $1.

At the event, Alyssa Fursarro Lewandowski, lead singer of the band Soul will be calling the shots as the appointed Master of Ceremonies. A feature slide show created by Linda Winkler, cultural anthropologist and dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Wilkes will be displayed at 8:30 p.m.

Winkler, who has worked in conjunction with the AIDS Control Office in Karagwe for more than 10 years, accumulated the featured pictures herself during her many trips to Karagwe. Winkler said that each person depicted in the slideshow has their own story.

An African style dance will be performed at 10 p.m. by Tanzania native Rael Sospateri Kakulima, who is teaching Swahili at Wilkes this semester as a visiting professor. All Wing ‘n’ Sing attendees are encouraged to participate with Rael and student volunteers as they tackle the uniquely choreographed hip-swinging performance.

The “Embrace a Child in Tanzania” campaign has been working through the fall semester to raise funds for orphans in Karagwe, Tanzania, who show superior academic potential and have been affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. Going to school in Tanzania is very competitive and many are not given the opportunity to receive an adequate education.

The children who are sponsored are supplied with a year’s worth of food, clothing, school books and tuition. School admission not only provides students with an education but it also gives them sufficient housing and medical treatment as it is needed.

When asked why NEPA residents should show concern for the children in Tanzania, Communications Studies Professor and faculty adviser of Zebra Communications Jane Elmes-Crahall explained that instead of seeing race, she simply sees children.

“The children in Tanzania are children that will grow up and interact with our children,” shesaid. “We are likely to cross paths with people around the world, all of whom are affected. I have real difficulty saying that one child is less worthy than another child.”

Last semester, the campaign raised $1,400, resulting in the adoption of three boys. For the spring semester, the campaign hopes to raise $2,400 so that five more orphans can receive aid and be given the chance to succeed.

The Wing ‘n’ Sing will take place Wednesday, April 11 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the SUB ballroom. Tickets are on sale now for $5. To purchase tickets in advance, contact Zebra Communications at 570-408-4158 or [email protected].