Lambda

Airbandz raises $23,000 towards cancer research

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By Kayla Perry

The crowd’s energy in the Fraser Auditorium was clear Feb. 9, as students awaited the beginning of the Airbandz concert.

Airbandz is a show consisting of student groups who choreograph and perform dance routines in order to raise money for cancer research. The show has become a tradition at LU, and this year students celebrated the show’s tenth anniversary. Fittingly, ten groups performed this year in honour of the anniversary, some of which included The LU Project, The Hill Takes Over and the 90s Rewindees.

Each team chooses a name, costume, and a mash-up of music to perform to, and is put through a rigorous audition process prior to the show. Also, no two groups can have the same music in their performance.

The show, which is entirely student run and produced, was sold out as usual, with all proceeds going directly to the Northern Ontario Cancer Research Foundation.

To date, Airbandz has raised a total of $123,000 over ten years, bringing in $23,000 this year. Dex Brown, the original founder of Airbandz at LU, returned to campus this year to judge the show.

An LU graduate from 2005, Brown was “very proud” that the show has carried on over the years, and has raised as much money as it has.

Back when the show began in 2003, the goal was to raise $1,000, a goal which has been  surpassed every year.

“I never thought (the show) would grow to be this big – it’s crazy, I feel old,” said Brown, who received an honorary award this year for founding the show at LU. “I’m very proud that the students have taken it to a different level. Airbandz has transformed into something – it’s much different from when it first started.”

Brown also served as a judge for the show, along with Nate Otterman, an LU graduate who participated in the original

Airbandz, Andy Rollins, SGA President, Tannys Laughren, Cancer Research Foundation representative, and Denis Mayer.

“It is nerve-racking (to judge) because you basically have to choose who is the best act out of ten acts that are absolutely amazing,” said Rollins. “It’s one of the most nerve-racking jobs I’ve ever had.”

After deliberating, the awards for the top three went to the performances by Those Guys, The Misfits, and The Celebration. Jenna Woodward, a secondyear sports and administration student, was a member of The Celebration. “It felt amazing when they announced our group name,” said Woodward, who said that it was everyone in the group’s first time performing at the show.

“We went to pub the next night and had a bit of a celebrity status – before the show (the group members) knew of each other but after all the practices (they) are all pretty good friends. (The show) is for a really great cause and I think all the groups did really well.”

The criterion for judging includes originality, enthusiasm, costume design, overall performance and lip-syncingquality.

Airbandz was hosted by Chad Scanlan, Tom Matheson and Chris Neff (who are all LU students and returning hosts).

“Last year was a really fun experience, and it’s an honour to be able to host for a second year in a row” said Neff, a fourthyear LU history student.

lambda@laurentian.ca