On Saturday, Jan. 28, Leffler Chapel and Performance Center hosted the 12th Annual A-T Benefit, which was sponsored by the Education Organization of Elizabethtown College.
All proceeds from the concert went to the A-T Children’s Project, which funds international research for ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), including ticket sales and a bake sale located in Leffler throughout the night. At the end of the night, the Education Organization of Elizabethtown College announced they had raised $1,241 for the A-T Children’s Project.
A-T is a rare disorder that appears in between 1 in 40,000 and 1 in 100,000 children, which causes many health issues, including loss of muscle control, immune problems and often cancer. The loss of muscle control eventually leads to the need of a wheelchair, slurred speech and difficulty with reading and writing. The issues within the immune system often causes respiratory infections. The increased likelihood of cancer is also paired with the A-T patients’ intolerance of radiation, meaning most cancer treatments cannot be used on them. It is rare for an A-T patient to live into their 40s.
The A-T Children’s Project was founded in 1993 by Brad and Vicki Margus, who have two sons that were diagnosed with A-T. The organization, which is based in Coconut Creek, Florida, aims to contribute to research for both treatments and a possible cure for A-T, to raise awareness about A-T, to help parents and doctors recognize it more easily in children and to provide support for families with individuals with A-T.
The performances, which began at 7:00 p.m., featured students and clubs from across campus, including the Elizabethtown College Dance Team, Mad Cow Improv, Vocalign, Emily Soltys and Megan Farrell, Emotion, the Elizabethtown College String Quintet, Jessie Hornberger, Kory Hilpmann and Phalanx.
Junior Elizabeth Peters, a member of Emotion, said, “It’s definitely a good cause. I’m glad I got to be a part of it, but … I didn’t get to see everything that the concert was going to do for the cause or see the other performances.”
“Overall, I thought it was a great event, where I was able to learn about a disease that I had no idea existed,” said junior Jessica Sullivan, an attendee of the event.
“I was really surprised to hear about A-T and the awful effects it has on children. … I hope that they continue to promote this event in the future to spread awareness and receive donations for those suffering from the disease,” said sophomore Kristen Wade, who also attended the benefit.