All You Need is Love

Maddie Reed

Pink and red cut-out hearts lined the walls leading upstairs to the youth group room inside the Village United Presbyterian Church. Social studies teacher David Muhammed greeted students as they walked up the stairs and fished out their folded dollar bills from the bottom of their wallets, throwing them into the donation box.

Coalition’s tenth annual Love Concert was their biggest fundraiser of the year. Half of the proceeds were donated to Kansas City Instrumental Fund while the other half went towards Mill Valley High School senior Nolan Sprague, who was paralyzed in a diving accident over the summer. 

Coalition sponsored two nonprofits each year in order to raise more money for different causes. They found their first from one of their own members, senior Henry Haw. The organization known as the Kansas City Instrumental Fund raised money for underprivileged students in low income areas around the Kansas City metropolitan area.

KCIF gave kids an opportunity to rent instruments and take lessons, which excited the members of the club. They would be able to actually see students learning how to play instruments since they lived in the same community.

Usually Coalition’s second charity was related to an international cause like the Yemen crisis or human trafficking, but this year no nationwide charities stood out to them. 

“Usually we have a home-grown cause and an international cause,” junior Lucy Brock said. “But this year we couldn’t find one that we liked or felt connected to.”

They didn’t find their second organization until a weekend of snow and ice cancelled seniors Zach Bass and Maggie Gray’s volleyball fundraiser for Sprague. When the coalition members found out the tournament was rescheduled to the same day as the concert, they knew they wanted to help raise funds for it.

Coordinators of the concert decided to spin it as a day of donations. After school, students could play in the volleyball tournament in the auxiliary gym where all the proceeds went to Sprague. After, they could drive five minutes to Village Presbyterian and support both Sprague and the Kansas City Instrumental Fund with their donations. 

“Zach Bass was supporting the student at Mill Valley who had that accident. We wanted to be a part of that,” Muhammed said. “It fell on the same day they as their volleyball fundraiser so we were like, ‘why not do half and half?”’

But the Friday of the Love Concert and the tournament was also the last varsity basketball game. With only one team signed up to play volleyball, the tournament had to be cancelled again.

That didn’t matter to the members of Coalition. Even though it wouldn’t be the night they planned for, they would still raise money for the local Nolan Sprague fund.     

After the concert, Coalition donated the $1,088 they received to both organizations. Half of the profits went to underprivileged kids within the community and the other half went to Sprague.

Coalition put together a concert to draw people in. Not only because of the atmosphere of the community, but because of where all of their donations were going to.

“It’s fulfilling to see a small community coming together and supporting these causes,” Muhammed said. “We aren’t donating hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we’re doing the best that we can with what we have.”