Service Hours Win Free Augustana Ticket

by April York

Ever wanted to go to a rock concert for free? The United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG) is giving away 1,000 free tickets to a concert by Augustana at Buster’s Billiards and Backroom in exchange for completing at least 10 hours of community service between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010. This event, called the “10,000 Hours Show,” is taking place on April 8.

According to David Kitchen, director of communications for UWBG, the “10,000 Hours Show” is not a new idea. The project has been done in four other areas before, but not in Kentucky.

“(UWBG) wanted to bring the energy and excitement of a project like this to our town. … (The) United Way sees this as a great opportunity to engage young people in community service – to really get connected with the community they live in,” Kitchen said.

Kitchen called the project “a win-win for everyone,” since it is an opportunity for college students to learn about ways to participate in service as well as an opportunity for local nonprofit agencies to connect with new volunteers.

Nonlocal organizations can also benefit from the project.

“Service doesn’t have to be done in Lexington, but we do ask agencies to verify (the hours claimed), so having local agencies makes that part easier and quicker,” Kitchen said.

Even required community service can go toward one’s hours to be able to attend the show.

“Since most Greek organizations require more than 10 hours from their members, we’ve encouraged sororities and fraternities to simply send us their members’ names and e-mails and we can invite them to the concert,” Kitchen said.

Once the “10,000 Hours Show” was under works, UWBG did a poll on their Facebook fan page and Augustana was the first choice for performer at the concert.

“We were lucky that they were available and could come and do the show,” Kitchen said.

Augustana is the American rock band behind such hits as “Boston” and “Sweet and Low.” Their most recent album, “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt,” was released in April 2008.

When searching for a venue, Kitchen related, UWBG was interested in somewhere that was not only hip and able to accommodate 1,000 people, but also somewhere that was committed to giving back to the community.

“Buster’s was a perfect fit. It’s such an amazing venue – state-of-the-art sound and lighting – and their owners are great stewards of the community,” Kitchen said.

Kitchen also found it important to note that the goal was to have 1,000 people each volunteering 10 hours. Though 1,000 people have not yet registered their service, the 10,000 hours mark has already been exceeded.

“Young people in our community are so committed to giving back, and most everyone has registered much more than 10 hours each. We have such a wonderful, caring group of college students and young professionals of whom to be proud,” Kitchen said.

Sophomore Holly Brown is a Transylvania student whose volunteerism won her a ticket to the show.

“I think that the United Way of the Bluegrass concert is a great idea because it made me seriously think about how much time I devote to community service. And getting to see Augustana for free isn’t bad, either! I’m certainly looking forward to next Thursday night,” Brown said.

The number of tickets left for the “10,000 Hours Show” is quickly diminishing. If you would like to attend the free concert and have volunteered 10 hours or more in the past year, visit to register before April 5.

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