January 16, 2013
Elon University's Department of Performing Arts presented its eighth annual Elon Cares benefit concert on January 12. The concert supports Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit organization that raises money for AIDS awareness and supports individuals affected by HIV/AIDS and their families. This year's program was in memory of John Ronayne, a dancer, pianist, artist, and performer who died from HIV at age 33.
To raise money, performers held a bake sale and raffled Broadway memorabilia, signed Broadway show posters, and restaurant gift cards. President Leo Lambert, who attended the performance, stated that the talent within the Department of Performing Arts always amazed him. Ronayne's sister, Claudia Ronayne was the guest speaker. Her goal is to raise awareness about the disease and the stigma of HIV/AIDS. She spoke about her brother's battle with HIV, commented on the number of persons ages 13 to 26 diagnosed with HIV every month, and reminded the audience that no gender or age is spared. She noted that AIDS awareness and research are making strides, but society still has a long way to go, and advised the audience to educate themselves and everyone they love about HIV. The show ended with the song "Beautiful City" from "Godspell."