CFRE Radio hosted their first pub night of the semester on January 31. Held at the Blind Duck Pub, the event was organized to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross, to support aid and disaster relief in light of the devastating bushfires still burning across the continent.

Money was raised through Pay-What-You-Can tickets and drinks sold at the bar. They managed to raise an impressive $1,000 over the course of the night, through sales and a matched donation by the CFRE.

The night was kicked off by performances from the talented students of UTM, including Fatima Ahma, a beautiful singer and founder of UTM’s Karaoke Club. “I started singing in public in high school, but I was almost too self-conscious to perform tonight. The fact that it was for charity was extra motivation.”

UTM student Riddesh Shah performed a rendition of “The Times They Are A Changin” that had everyone singing along, and you never would have known that it was his first public performance. “This was my first chance to perform, I wasn’t gonna let it go!”

Shah was followed by first-year theatre and drama studies student Sierra Small. She blew the audience away with a performance of “In My Dreams,” from the Broadway musical Anastasia. Small, who’s also been singing since high school, admitted that she was worried about her choice of song. “Sharing art is such a personal thing because you always want to do it justice.” While at first it might have seemed like an odd choice for a charity concert, Small absolutely made it work.

Dead City Blues, an indie rock band featuring Bartek Godzwan, Daniel Salvador, Josiah Toyo Ta, and Kevin Tran, performed next. Remarkably, it was also their debut performance.

The student performances were followed by sets from talented local artists DROP TOP ALIBI, DJELO, José Lobo, and Sweet Tooth. The audience was rocking out and having fun, and the event was a resounding success in more ways than one.

“No one really knows that we’re here,” said Gale Dy Sun, events director at CFRE. “Most people walk by us in the student center without noticing we’re here, so we wanted to both put ourselves out there and put on a fun night for the students of UTM, while also helping a good cause.”

All in all, it was a fun night filled with great music, as UTM got to celebrate their own while also donating to a worthy cause.

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