More than 400 attend student benefit for school in India

More than 400 people, including many St. Thomas students attended Face Forward, a one-night celebration of humanity through art, Wednesday night at First Avenue and 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis.

The benefit show raised money for the Charitable Association for the Vulnerable Emancipation Trust (CAVE). Performances included spoken word artists, dancers, musicians and a fashion show.

Benefiting others in need

Face Forward’s mission focuses on young adults in the Twin Cities who are against a lack of education in Third World countries.

Senior Amanda Leaveck, the executive director of Face Forward, joined forces with CAVE to raise money to construct a new school in India.

Leaveck hopes to raise $11,000 that will go directly to building the school. Starting this fall, she will oversee the work on the school while in India for a year. She didn’t sell the 1,000 tickets she hoped to but she has time to raise more money by the time she leaves in September.

The benefit show featured local talent. The ultimate goal was to gain exposure for local artists while “using artistic talents to contribute to the common good of humanity,” according to the Face Forward website.

Many Tommies contributed their talents to the event as spoken word artists, musicians and models. Every performer associated with the event volunteered her or her time to the cause.

“Give talents, spirit, heart and soul”

Junior Clare Naughton was impressed with Leaveck.

“Seeing another Tommie put this much effort into supporting a cause is worth showing up for,” Naughton said.

Leaveck was encouraged by the attendance, deeming the event a success. “I am proud of the entire team,” she said.

The monetary goal of the event has yet to be reached, but Leaveck is positive more can be done before her departure for India in September.

Sophomore Michael Kobow, who attended the benefit, said the event would send a positive message about St. Thomas students.

“We care about important issues,” he said. “St. Thomas students will take a stance on any issue, local or global.”

Leaveck believes the event lived up to its mission of sharing talents with the less fortunate.

“I want young adults to walk away and use their talents for something other than personal gain,” she said. “Give your talents, spirit, heart and soul.”

Gina Dolski can be reached at