Hermanos Unidos invites students to get hypnotized and rock out at a spellbinding benefit show for the United Way tonight.
Proceeds from the show directly benefit Santa Barbara County’s United Way annual fundraising campaign, which supports initiatives and local service programs such as the YMCA, said Steve Ortiz, senior campaign executive for United Way and alumni advisor for Hermanos Unidos. Tickets for the show, which begins at 8 p.m. in Campbell Hall, are $5 for students and $8 for general admission.
Spectators can expect to see a one-hour show by hypnotist Barry Jones, as well as performances by local band Masterstroke and UCSB all-male a capella group Brothas from Otha Mothas (BFOM). In addition to live entertainment, there will be a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to the UCSB Bookstore and coupons for Gina’s Pizza and Zodo’s Bowling and Beyond.
Hermanos Unidos Co-chair Billy Sanchez, a third-year law and society and Chicano studies major, said his group typically only hosts benefit shows or community service projects on campus or in Isla Vista. Hermanos Unidos is a Chicano/Latino social support group with over 100 members that focuses on academics and community service.
“[By taking part in the show, we] are working for a bigger cause, and United Way has the power to make things happen,” Sanchez said. “We affect a large community, especially kids, and it is our responsibility for us to take part in it.”
By teaming with Hermanos Unidos, Ortiz said, United Way hopes to increase the UCSB faculty, staff and student involvement to reach its fiscal goal of $5,000 from the show.
Last year, the campaign brought in $110,000, but Ortiz said the charity hopes to bring in $115,000 this year, including the money earned from the benefit show.
Jeff Lum, president of BFOM and fourth-year music major, said the group found the show of particular interest because it lends support to the United Way and to on-campus student activities.
“Events like these are really heartwarming to us,” Lum said. “The show is entertaining but helps people at the same time, so you kind of get the best of both worlds.”
To cover the costs of the benefit show, which has been in the works for nearly two months, the county United Way received $600 from the Office of Student Life and $600 from the office of Vice Chancellor Michael Young. Funding from various other organizations, including Hermanos Unidos, will cover the remaining costs.
Expenses to put on the show, which originally cost $2,500, added up to $1,300 because Masterstroke and Barry Jones will perform pro bono.
In the future, United Way hopes to have larger events for the campaign, like the benefit show, that involve even more student groups on campus, Ortiz said. United Way’s annual campaign runs through Feb. 28.