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Students host benefit concert tonight to gather Christmas toy donations

December 7, 2012

Loyola University New Orleans student Molly Portier wanted to use music to give back. With that idea, she spearheaded the second annual NOLA Polar Express benefit concert tonight, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at The Howlin’ Wolf, located at 907 South Peters Street in New Orleans. The event, put on by Loyola students, presents a night of music and collects Christmas toys for child patients at Ochsner Medical Center and Children’s Hospital who can’t make it home for the holidays.

The music will be divided between the main room and the Den, and entry into the age 18 and up event is a toy donation or $10 to go towards the purchase of a toy ($7 with college ID).

The NOLA Polar Express has grown from four bands last year to 10 bands this year, including Portier’s own alternative band, The Wooden Wings. Other bands scheduled to play the live show this year include Loyola student bands Naughty Professor, Zach Lund, Something Burning, The Fake Carls and Bantam Foxes. The Breton Sound, made up of Loyola alumni, will also play at the event along with The Scorseses, England in 1819 and Toast Beards.

“Most of these families are paying so many medical bills (that) it puts a huge financial strain on them, so buying gifts isn’t always easy for them,” Portier said. “Getting to personally hand out the toys last Christmas Eve alongside my family, friends and a handful of fellow musicians was one of the most incredible and eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. We brought a lot of smiles to kids who didn’t get to open gifts around a Christmas tree.”

The event is organized entirely by Loyola students. Every aspect from the planning, marketing, organizing and the music-making itself is volunteer work. Find out more by visiting the NOLA Polar Express Facebook page.

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