The Keene State College Hungry Owl food pantry has teamed up with a group of Public Relations students to raise awareness for their mission on campus by hosting a concert, featuring local Keene bands. The Hungry Owl is a student-run food pantry that provides free food to students, faculty and staff. For a final project in a public relations class, students had to create a PR campaign for a non-profit organization.
KSC senior Kyle Heslin had been volunteering at the Hungry Owl last fall. Those involved at the pantry were struggling to get more people to know about their services. Heslin was able to connect the Hungry Owl’s difficulty with awareness to his class project.
“In my PR class, we had the hypothetical project to design a campaign for a client,” Heslin said. “Someone suggested to do an actual concert and we realized we could do this for real.”
KSC sophomore Rachel Marquis also helped with bringing together the concert. She said the main goal of the event is to get people on campus to know more about the Hungry Owl.
“The whole thing was and always will be awareness,” Marquis said. “If they know what it (Hungry Owl) is, maybe they don’t know where it is and what we offer. After this, hopefully they will.”
The idea of putting on a concert began with simply wanting to do an event that people on campus would attend. KSC junior John Budenas was another student working on the project. Budenas said they originally thought of doing an open house event, but that a concert seemed like a more unique and fun idea. Student coordinator for the Hungry Owl, Max Foisey, also said that the weather was another aspect to keep in mind.
“It was more important to find an event that could bring people together,” Foisey said. “Considering it’s New Hampshire and it is winter, we figured it’s too cold to do anything outside. We were bouncing around some ideas and thought some local bands would be a great way to keep things within the community.”
The bands that will be performing at the benefit concert include Afterimage, Omoo Omoo and Jailbait. The concert is also being sponsored by the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi.
“We’re (Alpha Sigma Phi) going to help out with donations and stuff, but it is really a Hungry Owl event,” Budenas said, who is a brother of Alpha Sigma Phi. “We want to be there to help them out because we do believe in what they’re doing.”
Along with the performances from the bands, a promotional video that the group created as part of the PR campaign will also be shown. Foisey will also be giving a speech about the Hungry Owl. If the music and information isn’t enough to motivate students to attend, Hootie the Owl will also be in attendance. Students can receive Hootie’s Rewards points for showing up.
The only cost of admission for the concert is a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Hungry Owl.
The concert is on Friday, Feb. 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room. Those interested should RSVP for the event on the concert’s Facebook page: Hungry Owl Benefit Show Feat. Afterimage, Omoo Omoo and Jailbait.
Rachel Vitello can be contacted