Courtesy of Frances Sei
Before a 3,400-mile bike ride for charity can happen, supporters of Ride for World Health are set to make a little music.
A benefit concert, also known as “Let’s Go Ride a Bike,” for R4WH is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at King Avenue 5, located at 945 King Ave.
Musicians and R4WH advocates Chris Esber, a fourth-year in medicine, and Ashleigh Vig, a first-year in psychology, are hosting the show to help raise money and awareness about world health.
“Every year a group of med students from OSU and across the country ride (bikes) from San Diego, Calif., to Washington D.C.,” Esber said. “We give lectures about global health and even domestic health for the kids and we even fundraise for global health initiatives.”
Esber is chief operating officer of Ride for World Health and has been helping to run the nonprofit since June.
The ride itself is about a 3,400-mile journey and takes about two months.
Esber found out about the organization two years ago when he went to Columbus lecture series Global Health Day. He listened to the founder of Village Health Works, Deogratias Niyizonkiza, speak and after listening to his story wanted to get involved.
Village Health Works is an “organization that delivers world-class, community-drive medical care and local development initiatives from what has rapidly become the premiere health facility in all of Burundi (Africa),” according to a press release.
“Every year we (R4WH) choose a global health initiative and raise money for them,” Esber said. “A lot of what we do is advocacy for them, explaining to people what opportunities are out there to do global health and what kind of groups are actively doing global health so you can get involved.”
This year, R4WH will be raising money for Empower and Advance, an “organization dedicated to empowering members of vulnerable communities,” according to a press release, in Haiti, and Village Health Works, in Burundi.
Vig signed up to contribute more to the musical side of the event, bringing in local bands and artists to support R4WH.
“The groups of performers that I have brought with me are all from around town. They are all writing their own stuff, playing in people’s basements,” Vig said. “And yet here’s Esbers’ group working 50 to 60 hours a week and still finding time to play music. The common thing is that everyone loves music.”
Esber will not only be hosting the event but performing in it as well. He is the lead male vocalist of Benefits with Friends, a group of OSU medical students, which will be performing for the fist time, at the benefit show, Esber said.
“With the band, a lot of these people are just friends who I have played music with before, and I put the band together just for this benefit concert,” Esber said.
Including Benefits with Friends, there will be three bands and four acoustic solo artists performing at the show. There will also be local art for sale, and part of the proceeds will be donated to R4WH.
“My idea about (artwork being sold) is that people who are also creating stuff on their own time, who are not well known, they are doing it because they love it, and to give them sort of a venue to show their art to people and also contribute to charity,” Vig said.
Vig and other musicians will also be auctioned off for a “date with a musician.”
Amanda Delong, a fourth-year in medicine, said the event offers a perfect combination of her two passions: endurance sports and music.
Delong has sung with Esber at a few different events and thought being part of Benefits with Friends would be a good way to get involved in the event. Delong is also on the leadership team for the Ride for World Health.
“(Ride for World Health) is always run by Ohio State medical students on the leadership team, but we recruit throughout the entire country and you don’t have to be a medical student to get involved,” Delong said.
Admission is covered by a $5 donation.