Camera shy plays benefit concert for Nicaragua trip

By on February 19, 2004

Camera Shy Paparazzi,

a musical trio

composed of David Blanchard, Craig Costagna, and Collen Toomey, the bands new bassist, performed in Alumni Hall and raised over a $1,000 dollars for students going to Nicaragua for the ultimate spring break experience.

The trip to Nicaragua is being sponsored by the Albert Schweitzer Institute and is being advised by David Ives, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute. On this trip, 11 students, as well as Ives’s family, will help build an additional wing onto a school whose enrollment is 70 to 80 students over the school’s capacity level.

“On the first day we all meet as a group we came up with the idea to have a benefit concert,” senior mass communication major Blanchard said. “David [Ives] wanted to charge $15 a head.”

“But we finally decided on $5 a head,” senior mass communications major Costagna said. “We then called Chris Fredda [graduate from the class of 2003] to come up and open.”

About 200 people came to Alumni Hall to support the event. During this show, food was sold, as well as Camera Shy’s new album, which the group has been working on during the summer months.

“The money that we are raised from the CDs goes to the band,” Costagna said. “The rest of the money goes to earth and tools we are going to be using while building.”

Ives class, The Life and Times of Albert Schweitzer, was one of the reasons these two men decided to apply to go on one of these spring break experiences.

“Dave and I took the class and we had to do community service with it. It was a great class taught by David Ives and Ben Page,” Costagna said. “I fell in love with David at this point. I was really inspired by the class.”

For their community service, Blanchard and Costagna worked at a Catholic Work House in the Hill section of New Haven.

“The people who ran the house came from well off families and decided to give it up and live in poverty,” Blanchard said. “They had enough to survive but not play taxes.”

Costagna went on to state the man who was in charge of the house did not want to pay taxes because 70 percent of the money goes to the military and he was opposed to this.

During the course of this class, Blanchard and Costagna became close with Ives and were told about the upcoming trip to Nicaragua.

Blanchard stated there was a huge application process to be accepted into the program.

“We had to apply for the trip along with Habitat for Humanity and the Southern United States trip,” he said, “You had to check of the trip you wanted to go one and would get in if space permitted.”

“There was also a trip to Barbados. This trip was mostly for IDD student,” Costagna said. “They were going to be building websites for small businesses and battered women’s shelters.”

Once accepted, the mass communication majors embarked in another mission. Together, they came up with the idea to create a documentary about their experience. This would combine both mass communications and service.

“We are mass communication majors planning on making a documentary,” Blanchard said. “We are going to send one of the videos back to the school with footage of our campus so they can see what our lives are like.”

“It can also be used for during orientation to educate students about the Albert Schweitzer institute and these experiences,” Costagna said.

“We are going to be doing both projects,” Blanchard said. “I also have to take pictures for a class and there is site seeing.”

Costagna and Blanchard are very open to the experience that is awaiting them in Nicaragua. Both agree they want to keep an open mind when going into this experience.

“Even if we don’t do much building we still have a purpose of going there,” Blanchard said. “I wanted to do three things in my college career. I wanted to study abroad, which I did not do, I wanted to get an internship, which I was not able to do, and I wanted to go on one of these trips. I am glad I have finally gotten the opportunity to do this.”

Costagna agrees with Blanchard and he is ready for this experience.

“I don’t know what to expect out of this experience,” he said. “I know it sounds clich, but I just hope to give back to humanity.”


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