Student's vision sparks concert

CARLY THOMAS CARLY.THOMAS@FAIRFAXMEDIA.CO.NZ
Last updated 12:00 18/06/2014
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MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ
Strumming up support: Josh Ellery, left, and Baxter Perry from Topaz Rooster will be performing in the World Vision Concert on Saturday.

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A day out of school and a trip to the Global Leadership Conventions day in Wellington sparked an idea for Colson Verdonk - a World Vision Concert to raise money for the humanitarian effort in Malawi.

The concert will be held this Saturday at the Speirs Centre, from 7pm, and feature young musicians from both Palmerston North Boys' High School and the wider community.

Colson is a 16-year-old Boys' High student who was one of 10 students to attend the leadership day, a World Vision event focused on global issues and inspiring young people to become leaders and take action.

"It was really great," Colson said. "We thought about things that we could do around the 40 Hour Famine and that's where it started. I talked to our principal and he thought it was a great cause, so we booked it in."

Seven acts will be performing a range of acoustic originals and covers. The artists involved are Connor McLaughlin, Josh Ellery, Topaz Rooster, Annie Webster, Three Little Birds, Sio and Jono Naylor. Colson will be the MC for the concert and World Vision volunteer Annie Gummer will be speaking as well.

Gummer has helped Colson set up the event and she said it was his initiative that got the concert off the ground; she has just helped him get everything together.

"Youth are really the people that can make a difference in the future, they are the ones that push things forward," Gummer said.

Colson says his interest in world issues, particularly in Africa, started with his involvement in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine.

"My family also have a World Vision sponsor child, she is the same age as me, so there is that connection. I remember when we first started sponsoring her and she weighed 15 kilograms less than me, but we were the same height and now as time has gone on she has started to smile in the photos that we get. She used to have a really solemn look on her face. It has been great to see that what World Vision do works," Colson said.

The money raised from the concert will be going to the World Vision effort in Malawi, a country where there is a high prevalence of HIV/Aids, low life expectancy and high infant mortality.

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- Manawatu Standard

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