FAU swings into country for a good Cause


Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 the second Swing into Country event, sponsored by South Florida Ford, was held at Florida Atlantic University’s stadium in Boca Raton. From 5 P.M. to 10 P.M., people enjoyed great food while listening to talented musicians. The event included a country music concert with Drake White and The Big Fire as the headlining act. The band is best known for having toured with Zac Brown Band and Little Big Town.  Swing into Country also included performances by Claire Dunn, who has toured with Miranda Lambert and Chris Young, and Boca High sophomore Maggie Baugh.

Other activities like a celebrity kickball game were offered before the concert. The game involved teachers from all the Florida schools on one team and the headlining musicians on the other.

The admission was only ten dollars and the proceeds of all ticket sales went to an important cause: the Athletic Community Education (ACE) organization with its headquarters located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, ACE’s mission is to “develop tomorrow’s leaders by providing best in class leadership curriculum, mentoring, and projects that make a difference in their community.”

Schools from Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade counties are involved in the Student ACE program. It offers plenty of opportunities for students’ academic growth through scholarships and internship programs.  One such program is the Business Affiliate Program which gives students a chance to create leadership experiences in the real world while being mentored by a community leader. The motivation behind the ACE program is to teach students the necessary skills to accomplish a strong foundation of leadership in order to triumph in life and accomplish personal goals.

Baugh was proud to be a part of Ford’s Swing into Country. For her, the best part of the event  was that the occasion was more focused on the community as opposed to the performers themselves. According to Baugh, the event involved not only Palm Beach County schools but also schools from across the state. She loved seeing everyone “come together” for the worthy cause. Baugh recalled seeing familiar faces in the audience that ranged from faculty to students from Boca High.

“It was really fun because all the schools were there and it was great to see them get more involved. Also, the fact that it took place at FAU was awesome because the campus is just beautiful,” Baugh said.

As for performing, Baugh is no stranger to big crowds considering she has opened for Drake White and the Big Fire before.

“He and his bandmates remembered me so it was really cool,” she said.

She previously performed in Sugar Sand Park’s Boca Arts Sparks Kids Fest on Feb. 21. Baugh will participate in this year’s Future Stars Performing Arts Competition and 103.1 WIRK FM Rib Round-up Music Festival on March 5, 2016.

Overall, the Swing into Country event achieved its goal of fundraising for ACE students who gain work experience as well as valuable leadership skills, which shape them to become future entrepreneurs. Thus, the community was united in their passion for aiding education and dedicated students while also having a good time.

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