Kids Helping Kids “Light Up a Life”
By Jason Paras | Staff Writer
January 14, 2012
The Granada Theater in downtown Santa Barbara was in a new light as a crowd of around 1,600 people came together for one cause – to “Light Up a Life.”
Saturday night, Kids Helping Kids, ”an entirely student run nonprofit organization that is based out of the Advanced Placement Economics class at San Marcos High School,” said Kids Helping Kids CEO Jordan Lund, raised approximately $130,000 at their “Light Up a Life” benefit concert for the Unity Shoppe in order to benefit and aid the Santa Barbara Community.
Along side the supporters who attended the event was 2011 Grammy-Award winning band, “Switchfoot.”
Switchfoot, who was first exposed to the mainstream world through composing and performing various songs like “Only Hope,” “You,” “Learning to Breathe,” and “Dare You to Move,” took the role as the night’s headliners playing their first show in Santa Barbara.
This American-Rock band originating from San Diego, California decided to “take a break from recording their movie [Fading West],” said lead vocalist Jon Foreman, and come to contribute to Kids Helping Kids and their cause.
Despite the popular circumstance where it is nearly impossible to successfully book a multi-award winning band such as Switchfoot, they were more than willing to take part in the event.
“We put out a feeler to see if Switchfoot would be willing to perform for our concert in January [to see] if it would fit in their schedule,” said Kids Helping Kids Director of Artist Relations, Sarah Peka. “They jumped on board immediately.”
Taking stage along side Switchfoot was world renown American surfer Tom Curren. Curren, with Switchfoot’s Vice Verses signature guitar in hand, soloed to “I Won’t Back Down” (a tune made famous by Tom Petty).
Opening the concert were San Marcos seniors, Jason Hahs and Emily Libera, who performed an acoustic rendition of the Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow.”
Hahs and Libera won this year’s “Royals Got Talent” competition which was an earlier fundraiser for the Kids Helping Kids organization.
Also performing was Brad Corrigan of Dispatch who is well-known for his world-wide charity work and selling out Madison Square Garden three nights in-a-row.
Corrigan closed his set by performed an on-stage improvised song dedicated to the San Marcos students who are involved with Kids Helping Kids and are “truly making a difference.”
The students involved with Kids Helping Kids have been planning this year’s benefit concert since spring last year, “but the ball didn’t really start rolling until School began this fall,” said Peka.
Sadly for those who do not attend San Marcos High School, in order “to be involved in the organization you have to be taking the AP Econ class as a senior [at San Marcos],” said Lund.
However, Kids Helping Kids is extending their organization to other schools.
“Right now we are working on spreading KHK to other schools,” Lund said. “We have schools in Denver, Ojai, and Folsom that are all interested in adopting the Kids Helping Kids business model and applying it to their school.”
Kids Helping Kids has not and will not fall short of achieving their goals.
Thus far in this 2012-2013 season, Kids Helping Kids has raised over $170,000 which will be donated to organizations with intentions to possessively impact the community through their student-driven work.