By Matthew Gundrum —

In honor of Earth Day, Raw Deal will be hosting an “Earth Day Par-Tay” on Sunday, April 26. The occasion will allow Menomonie residents and students to partake in a number of environmentally conscious activities.

This isn’t the first time Raw Deal has hosted an Earth Day event. This year there’s quite a bit in store.

“We wanted to feature the community garden this year, so they’ll have some informational stuff, but also you can sign up for garden plots too,” said Amber Georgakopoulos, Raw Deal events coordinator. “Also we’re going to do two trash collections around town where people can trade their bag of trash for a free coffee or tea. Then there’s going to be a kind of discussion group about small grains in the area.”

With these activities The Raw Deal hopes to get the community thinking about Menomonie in relation to the environment.

The Earth Day Event will feature musical guests Alexander Van Ert and Rachel Kolias. Both University of Wisconsin–Stout students, the two have collaborated before and hope to adorn the event with their folk-inspired aesthetic.

“I have been playing classical piano since I was five. I played percussion in band all through grade school and for a few years in college. I started playing guitar and singing when I was fifteen,” said Kolias, a junior in the Professional Communication program. “Playing music has always been a creative outlet for me and a way to express myself. [I’ve also] made some really great connections and had some great experiences because of music.”

Rachel and Alex are by no means strangers. They’ve played together before and are familiar with each other’s styles.

“We’re both solo acts collaborating with each other hoping to not be a solo act anymore,” said Alex, a senior Graphic Design student at Stout. “We’ve both been really busy so we haven’t had much time to write, but we’ve been playing together pretty frequently for the past two months.”

Alex, who helped roll out the GreenSense initiative for the commonly seen tri-trash system around campus, feels as if the event will help perpetuate a green attitude amongst the student body.

“Once you get past the first couple years of school you start to fall in love with this town,” he said. “I care about it looking nice and I don’t like seeing trash everywhere, and if people come to this event and see that there’s a ton of people who care about the earth, I think it’ll spread a little bit more.”

Since its inception, The Raw Deal has been dedicated to cultivating an earth-friendly ideology. With this event, the café hopes to continue this by giving community members a chance to get involved in the green conversation.

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