Student Social Media Campaign Brings NEEDTOBREATHE to Gardner-Webb University

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Concert set for April 28 at Gardner-Webb University 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.— After a seven-month process, a group of Gardner-Webb students will see their hard work pay off on April 28 when Atlantic Records recording artists NEEDTOBREATHE perform in the Paul Porter Arena at 8 p.m.

In the fall of 2011, a group of more than 40 students, led by senior Jessica Greer, started a campaign to persuade NEEDTOBREATHE to perform at Gardner-Webb University.  The “Operation NEEDTOBREATHE” group, as they were called around campus, used a variety of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to send messages directly to the band.

While waiting for a response, the students approached the administration for financial support for the concert.  University officials agreed, especially since the students planned to turn the concert event into a large-scale service initiative to raise and awareness and to fight the international problem of human trafficking.  Concert organizers then formed a partnership with Project Rescue, a ministry that rescues women and children from human trafficking and sexual slavery around the world.  Half of the ticket proceeds from the concert will benefit the organization.

Although waiting is not easy, “Operation NEEDTOBREATHE” never gave up.  “There aren’t many schools where something like this happens.  The reality is there were a million reasons it could have failed, but it didn’t,” said senior religious studies major Chelsea Hearne.

On January 30, the announcement was made that NEEDTOBREATHE was, in fact, coming to Gardner-Webb University.  “Once we knew they were coming, we needed to spread the word in hopes of selling out the concert,” said Hearne.   “We had already made contact with the band so the focus shifted toward the fans.”

Tickets can be purchased for the show through for $20 per person, $15 each for groups of 10 or more, and $10 for GWU undergraduate day students.  Tickets are also available at the Student Activities Office.

Ben Rector is scheduled to open the show at 8 p.m.  NEEDTOBREATHE will take the stage at 9 p.m.  More information is available by calling Haley Pond at 704-406-4268.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University was founded in 1905 and is home to over 4,300 students from 37 states and 21 foreign countries.


Written by communications students Chelsea Gregory and Travis Sherrill.