As if great music and the smell of fresh waffles weren’t enough, passersby drifted into Armory Square’s Funk ‘N Waffles on Wednesday night to support the latest “Funk Gives Back” event, the Crisis Text Line Benefit Festival. Senior Bandier Program student Rebecca Duke has been planning the festival since November of last year for her Renée Crown Honors Capstone project. The lineup boasted Long Island singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson and singer-songwriter Cat Clyde, hailing from Stratford, Ontario. By 8 p.m., as waffles were being enjoyed and second rounds of drinks were being ordered, Cat Clyde stepped out to captivate the audience with her raspy and powerful vocals. By the time Laura Stevenson took the stage at 9:20, every seat was filled and standing room was disappearing quickly. Most of Stevenson’s songs were self-admittedly forlorn, but her comical interjections between songs kept the mood light. Both artists were honored to support the great cause, graciously thanking Rebecca Duke for coordinating the event at the end of their respective performances.

Duke earned her funding for the festival through the Crown-Wise Scholarship Award, enabling her to donate all proceeds directly to Crisis Text Line, her favorite charity. “I’ve been volunteering for them for almost two years and they’re just the most amazing organization. It’s a 24/7 crisis hotline via text message, so if you find yourself in a crisis text 741-741 to speak with a compassionate crisis counselor and they can talk you through how you’re feeling.” All attendees were more than willing to donate the $15 admission cost and more by purchasing merchandise and raffle tickets for local concerts. Duke says there’s still some fundraising left to do, but estimates that over $2,000 will go straight to Crisis Text Line to train counselors and support texters in need.  

If you find yourself in crisis of any kind, text your message to 741-741 for immediate help, 24/7. To learn more or to donate visit www.crisistextline.org