All eyes were on six-year-old Ryland Hayes at the second-annual Rock Out for Ryland student concert in the Kahn Room last Saturday, where 15 student-led bands competed against each other to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event was created last year in honor of Associate Dean of Student Affairs Erik Hayes’s son, who was diagnosed with diabetes in February of 2011.
The concert, themed after the Star Wars holiday “May the Fourth be With You” by Ryland himself, also featured prizes collected from Terre Haute business for band and raffle winners. Ryland even appeared on stage to talk about his condition.
“We have some of the most talented students here at Rose-Hulman,” Erik Hayes, who also MC’ed, said. “But the talent that all of these people have, it’s just amazing to me. It’s so fun to watch these students and showcase something outside of the classroom.”
The idea for Rock Out for Ryland came about last year from Nadini Hettigei, Resident Assistant at Apartments East 3, and Julie Byrd, who also has diabetes. Hettigei often baby-sits for the Hayes, who are like “a second family” to her. After the idea for a charity event for Ryland, they started working months beforehand with a committee organized for the concert and decided to do it again this year.
“Seeing Ryland so excited about this one day that he really gets to be a star for having diabetes is worth all the effort we put in,” Hettigei said.
Erik Hayes said how grateful he was, not only for the students who took the time to plan this event for Ryland, but also for the people at Rose-Hulman that are “genuinely concerned for the welfare of our kids.
“It means a ton,” Hayes said. “It’s really tough to describe that in words, how much it means to our family.”
Hayes said that donations from Rock Out have reached about $1800, but T-shirts are still available for sale in the Student Affairs Office until supplies last. Arda Tugay, a Resident Assistant at Blumberg Hall, promised to shave his head if donations surpassed a total of $2000.
In addition to Hettigei and Byrd, Hayes also pointed out that Dan D’Avello, Kevin Dorn, Arda Tugay, Nick Aellen, Sarah Hensley, Paige Cook, Dan Dugmore, Bradlee Beauchamp, Eric Guilford, Kevin Dwyer, and Emily Eckstein were all party of the organizational committee that made this concert possible.

And the winner is…

After placing second at last year’s concert, the band Illuminati, consisting of Jacob Winsett, Bradlee Beauchamp, Kevin Dorn, Jack Petry, and new member Padrick Mulligan retuned to win as the “Overall Winner” and earned the chance to play at this year’s Lodge-a-Palooza. Winsett, Dorn, and Mulligan also played for Equinox, which won “Top Rock Band.” Although Illuminati was formed primarily for Rock Out For Ryland, Equinox has played at several venues, including at the 4th Quarter Bar. According to Mulligan, being able to perform in two bands at the event allowed them “to have separate styles in two distinct sets” with songs like “Man in the Box,” where Winsett dressed up with a cloak and skull face paint, and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“When we won I was pretty happy because we’ll probably be losing our singer after this year, since he is transferring,” Beauchamp said. “It was nice sharing that moment with the band.”

"Could Not Retrieve any Tweets"