University of Rhode Island’s student organization, Strike a Chord, raised over $500 in a Battle of the Bands Friday night for the local group “Horses Bring Hope,” well surpassing its goal for the night.

Strike a Chord works to raise money for local charities through concerts, open mics and various other music events. On April 1, the organization held a Battle of the Bands in Edwards Auditorium in order to raise funds for Horses Bring Hope, which uses horses as therapy animals for people with stress disorders.

“This is my last year that I’ll be actively involved,” Jordan Sereno, founder and former president of Strike a Chord, said. “This is actually the last show I’ll be involved in planning, so we want to celebrate the era that we’ve created here and make this huge.”

The event, “Helping Hooves,” featured performances by many local bands and solo acts, and the voting for “favorite act” was concluded in a “penny wars” style. The night started off with a set by band Yohafu, which was their first performance as a band. Wiley Bumtail played a solo acoustic performance next, followed by Providence band PALS. Natalie Spatharakis took the stage next with an acoustic set, and band Blind Revision performed after. To end the night, Strike a Chord President Nick Bottai performed a  solo acoustic set, and band Jake McKelvie & the Countertops closed the show.

Blind Revision was named the winning band at the end of the night, and was awarded a gift card to Guitar Center as a prize. Strike a Chord exceeded its fundraising goal of $500 for the night, almost within Yohafu’s show opening set.  

Sereno began Strike a Chord at Chariho High School in 2010, after the Haitian Earthquake, as a way to get involved in the aid process. The club has grown significantly in its six years, and has raised over $5,000 for charity in that time. Sereno, Bottai and president-elect Sebastian Wilson were all present at the event, and expressed immense passion for the club and the work that they have accomplished.

“I came in during the fall semester of my sophomore year, and I just fell in love with what the club represents,” Wilson said. “Because of how free the environment is, everyone can come in and have room to think. On my first day involved, I was able to give ideas and no one looked down on them. It’s not just for people who are musically talented. It’s great because it not only helps out the charities that we work with, but it helps build the reputations of bands who want to get out there and get noticed.”

Both Sereno and Bottai have acted as president for the club, and are both ecstatic about the enthusiasm and vision that Wilson shows toward becoming president. Bottai expressed sentiment over retiring as president, but both he and Sereno are excited to hand the club off to the next generation of members.

“There’s a lot that goes into planning a show,” Bottai said. “Having such a dedicated group of students to help with that has made my job as president easier, and has made me grow to love the club even more than I already did. Everyone is in it to work together and do some good.”

“I’m so happy to hand this off to this next generation of members,” Sereno said. “It’s hard to give up your ‘baby,’ but I trust all of these people, and Sebastian is going to do a great job.”