WYN, Enharmonix partner for non-traditional Valentine’s


The Appalachian Online

Madison Barlow

This year, the a capella group Enharmonix is collaborating with Western Youth Network to provide students with an alternative to the traditional Valentine’s Day experience.

WYN is an independent non-profit organization with the mission to “provide children with the tools they need to succeed,” according to its website. The organization has four main programs for children, and although they are independent, they work in close collaboration with the university and other area schools.

Director of Development for WYN Faith Motter said the idea of selling singing phone telegrams came from a conversation she had with Associate Director of Student Programs Jenny Koehn.

“Jenny works in the [Appalachian and the Community Together] office, and she is also a WYN board member,” Motter said. “Our goal for this year was to really get WYN’s name out to the community even more, so one day we were talking about how to do an interactive fundraiser. That’s when Jenny mentioned partnering with Enharmonix.”

Soon after that conversation, the two groups set up a meeting and discussed details of the event.

Joe Wrenn, sophomore social work major and Enharmonix’s public relations officer said the group is excited to be involved with a non-profit that works with locals.

“This year we had set a goal for ourselves to do more service, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Wrenn said. “Our group travels a lot, so it will be nice to give back in our own community.”

The group is currently taking orders for phone calls to be sent to “anyone and everyone,” Wrenn said. All calls will take place on Feb. 13 and will include a live song clip and a message explaining who the call came from and that the proceeds benefit WYN.

“We have a total of seven songs for purchasers to choose from, and have been practicing them all this week,” Wrenn said. “We tried to stick with songs that are classic and well known.”

Enharmonix and WYN aren’t the only groups involved in this event, however. Senior sustainable development major Stephanie Rzonca is a member of a group of six students from a non-profit service learning class, who partnered with them.

“Throughout the class, we are continuously trying to partner with non-profits to gain experience with all that goes into the organizations,” Rzonca said. “WYN was at the top of my personal list of non-profits that I wanted to work with. I really like WYN’s mission, and think this is a really unique fundraising idea.”

Rzonca said she and her team have been working on marketing the event.

“We set up a Facebook group for the event, and invited over 1,200 people from that platform alone,” she said. “It’s definitely a tag team effort. Enharmonix members are sort of the talking heads of the event, since they will be doing the calls. My group is doing more of the elbow grease work. It’s been a great experience.”

Freshman Enharmonix member Lexis Warren said she is excited to participate in this event because it gives her the opportunity to give back while doing what she loves.

“I think this event is so unique because no one else has done anything like it before,” Warren said. “People love the idea of having their friends and family serenaded, and our group is absolutely overwhelmed with excitement at the fact that we’re the ones who get to make it happen.”

To order a singing telegram, visit www.heartforkids.wufoo.com/forms/singing-valentines. One telegram cost $5, but the group is offering a deal – $20 for five phone calls.

STORY: Madison Barlow, Intern News Reporter