Wamego teens plan community concert to benefit pediatric AIDS foundation

cjonline.com | June 29, 2014

By Samantha Foster
samantha.foster@cjonline.com

Two Wamego teenagers are hoping a community concert in July will raise funds for a nonprofit that helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Last year, Maggie Shermoen, 16, and Alexis Pettay, 17, put together a benefit concert to raise funds for the Red Cross to benefit tornado victims in Moore, Okla. The friends raised $1,300. Afterward, they decided to make the concert an annual event, at least until they leave for college.

The teens will be seniors at Wamego High School.

The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 12 in the auditorium of Wamego High School. A silent auction of items from Wamego and Manhattan businesses and additional donated items also will be held.

On Friday, Shermoen said the concert will include about 22 acts involving mainly local talent, including herself and Pettay. A group of high-school boys also will perform comedy skits, she said.

The performers vary in age, too. A 5-year-old girl will sing the popular song “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.”

“Last year she sang a song from ‘Tangled,’ and it was the cutest thing ever,” Shermoen said.

About 150 people attended last year’s benefit concert, which was held during the Fourth of July weekend, Shermoen said. This year, the teens scheduled the concert for the following weekend in an effort to boost attendance.

Shermoen and Pettay also gained about eight other teenage volunteers this year. As next summer likely will be the last year for the pair to plan the benefit concert before starting college, Shermoen said she hoped the younger volunteers might pick up where they leave off.

“I’m hoping it will get passed down,” she said.

Shermoen said she and Pettay wanted to choose for this year’s benefit a cause that perhaps wasn’t quite as well known. After some research, Pettay chose the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation based in Washington, D.C.

The teens contacted the foundation, which is supporting their effort to raise funds through the concert and also gave them an opportunity to direct those interested in donating online to www.pedaids.org/togetherwecan.

For those interested in attending the benefit concert, a freewill donation is requested with a suggested $2 minimum donation.