Bash to rally for organ donors

By Linda Luk

Musical entertainment and celebrities are coming to NIU this spring to help increase awareness of the need for organ donation at the first ever Organ Donor Awareness Bash, April 20.

Educating and increasing awareness is the goal as the Public Relations Student Society of America prepares to bring a concert that will not only entertain but raise money for organ donation. The event is set to be held at Amnesia Night Club, 1000 W. Lincoln Highway, in an outdoor area where a stage will be set up.

“Starting around 3 p.m. there will be a cookout, and tables will be set up to pass out more information (on organ donation),” senior communication major Katie Lundberg said.

Also on site will be 92 Energy FM, the Miller Party Truck and other musical entertainment.

“Major talents, national and local bands will be there to entertain the crowd,” said Brad Abrahams, a senior media communication major and PRSSA vice-president.

Celebrities also will be on campus to act as witnesses to the signing of the driver’s license or donor card.

“We are setting up tables throughout campus, where celebrities would be endorsing organ donation by being the witness,” Abrahams said. “Celebrities that will be here include former Bulls player Bill Wennigton and former White Sox player Minnie Minoso. Basically, you’ll have their autograph on the back of your license.”

So far, bands haven’t been named yet but should be finalized next week.

Partnered with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and funded by United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, Amnesia Night Club and Molly’s, the event is to inform students, faculty and staff about the facts, concerns, the process and need for organ donation.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, at, every day 16 to 17 people die while waiting for a transplant.

Nearly 10 percent of the patients waiting for a transplant are under the age of 18, and an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people who die each year meet the criteria for organ donation, but less than half of that number become actual organ donors.

“We want as many people there as possible,” Abrahams said. “We want them to consider to be organ donors, sign their license, donate money and help with the fight for organ donors.

PRSSA started planning the event a few months ago when they were asked to participate in a contest between the Illinois chapters. The contest, run by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, is to increase awareness of the need of organ donors on campus.

Wanting to do something students have been asking for, PRSSA decided a concert would be their best bet.

“We’ll have two to three bands,” Abrahams said. “The event would not be costly. It is for students to enjoy and have fun, at the same time, achieve charity goals.”