Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Recycling a favorite group

Vocal Trash returns for a BLAST?fundraiser; students make art with repurposed items

April 22, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

The annual fundraiser for the BLAST after-school program has a theme this year - recycling. Sponsored by Noon Rotary, Thursday's concert will bring back last year's popular group Vocal Trash.

Vocal Trash creates an unusual sound with its fusion of a cappella harmonies, industrial "Stomp"-style drumming and breakdancers. The group has performed at the Iowa State Fair, and was a big hit in Fort Dodge last July, said Cheryl O'Hern, chair of the Noon Rotary committee putting on the fundraiser.

"People are still asking me when are we bringing them back again," O'Hern said.

Article Photos

-Submitted photo
Vocal Trash, which performed last summer in Fort Dodge, is coming back to town Thursday. Sponsored by the Noon Rotary, the group’s concert will raise funds for the BLAST?after-school program.

"We decided we wanted to do something that crossed all generations. Children up to senior citizens enjoy their music. They have a very vast program they do, with a variety of music from old hits up to breakdancing."

The concert last year was in July. O'Hern said the date was changed this year so that the kids could be more involved.

Butler's Learning After School Time, or BLAST, is in its ninth year now, said coordinator Sherri Schill. It's a three-hour program that meets every day after school at Butler Elementary, designed to support working families.

Fact Box

If you go:

What: Vocal Trash fundraising concert for BLAST

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Decker?Auditorium, Iowa Central Community College

Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for students, available from Noon Rotary members, at Northwest Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, Hy-Vee, Fort Dodge Family Credit Union and Webster County Iowa State University Extension office.

"Our emphasis is on academic and student achievement in school. Our first hour is homework, math and reading," Schill said. "At 4:30 the fun begins. We have a P.E. teacher there every day. We do author's studies, Spanish, art, science experiments."

Around 120 Butler students are actively participating in the program, Schill said. The program is free to the parents. It's 50 percent funded by grant, with the rest coming from community support and donations.

"Fort Dodge has been a very generous and caring community, and the Rotarians have been spearheading the effort," she said.

Vocal Trash brings a focus on recycling, and what its members call "upcyling' - repurposing materials that would be thrown out. Its show features junk re-i

magined into percussive instruments, so the local kids have been participating in recycling projects, O'Hern said.

At Butler Elementary School, second-graders in Chris Rake's art class are creating a cardboard dinosaur.

Rake said, "I did the structural part, the hot gluing and cutting, and the kids are decorating it. It's made of recycled materials to go along with Vocal Trash."

In order to be easier to paint, the cardboard boxes are covered with old blank labels which Rake said were just sitting around in the teacher's lounge.

Egg cartons will be cut up and used for a bumpy texture on the stegosaurus's skin. Paper plates will form the plates on its back. Its legs are oatmeal cans. Even the paint was old, and may have otherwise been thrown away.

"Kids are learning about how to reuse materials, about sculpting and painting, and using your imagination. They look at some trash, and have to see what part of the dinosaur could that be," said Rake.

For example, it was the kids who decided plastic forks would make good spikes for the dino's tail.

At the same time, Rotary members are at work creating a giant igloo out of milk cartons. O'Hern said the igloo will be auctioned off the night of the concert.

"We're hoping to take it back to the school so the kids can sit in there and read a book, maybe read to another student," she said.

Vocal Trash will also present its "Recycle Road Show" at St. Edmonds school Thursday morning, and at Butler that afternoon.

The fundraiser concert, at 7 p.m. at Iowa Central Community College's Decker Auditorium, will also feature a bake sale with items donated by parents, teachers and some area businesses. Schill said some cookies would be decorated to match the recycling theme.

Schill enjoyed the show last year.

"It's very exciting," she said. "What really struck me was everyone left smiling. It's very energetic, enthusiastic, and it appeals to all age groups."

Contact Joe Sutter at (515) 573-2141 or



I am looking for: