The AIDS Project of Centre and Clinton counties will be having a benefit concert at 10 p.m. Thursday night at The Arena Bar & Grill. The main performers will be local 80s cover band Velveeta.
Medical Care Coordinator Hannah Freeman said The AIDS Project is hosting the concert due to the loss of government funding. Currently, the group is running off of fundraising and local grants.
“It’s a fundraiser to help us raise funds to keep us going,” Freeman said. “There are a lot of changes in how the government distributes funds.”
The AIDS Project, however, still provides AIDS education information on and off campus for students and the community for free.
Stephanie McGhee, HIV prevention specialist and volunteer coordinator, said she hopes that through fundraising, they will be able to continue educating the community.
“Our fundraisers are really important because we want to keep our services free, or at least at a low cost so we can keep them where everyone can access them,” McGhee said.
Velveeta, which has been together for 17 years, will perform at 10 p.m. Band member Brent Martin said the group thinks The AIDS Project is a great cause and is glad they reached out to the band.
“We felt honored that they thought we could help their cause,” he said. “Hopefully the performance will generate a decent crowd to raise money for them.”
There will also be raffles for 15 different prizes, which include a gift basket, gift certificates, skate and long boards, and a $200 grand prize — all donated by local shops.
The concert at Arena Bar & Grill, 1521 Martin St., will have a $5 cover charge, all of which will go to The AIDS Project, and it is a 21-and-older event. Happy hour begins at 8 p.m. and the concert doors open at 9 p.m, Freeman said.
“We love to plan a party,” McGhee said. “We try to have fun because [AIDS] is such a heavy topic. We try to have fun where we can.”