A homemade sign wielded by LSA sophomore Alex Hanna advertised free hugs and high-fives on the Diag Friday as the part of the student group Do Random Acts of Kindness’s contribution to the first annual SpringFest.

More than 50 restaurants, student clubs and performance groups participated in SpringFest, hosted by the student group MUSIC Matters, which fundraised throughout the year to bring Grammy-nominated artist J. Cole to Hill Auditorium Friday night.

Along with promoting the concert and raising money and awareness for the C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, SpringFest was created to bring the University community together, according to LSA sophomore Adrian Muguerza Ibarra, chairman of SpringFest.

As part of the event, students received freebies from organizations such as the University’s Alumni Association, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and Relay for Life. Various booths also lined the Diag, in a manner similiar to Festifall, so students could learn more about campus clubs.

Ibarra wrote in an e-mail interview that the event is part of a mission “to create a tradition of hosting great charity concerts and events that the Michigan community can really enjoy.”

“It is (a) great opportunity for students to not only explore some of the clubs on campus, but also enjoy a day of fun, safe and informative activities,” Ibarra wrote.

The highlight of SpringFest was a drawing for J. Cole tickets, Ibarra said. He added he has been working closely with the Center for Campus Involvement to ensure the event would be both safe and enjoyable.

Student participants said SpringFest was a positive experience and a good opportunity to gain exposure for their group. LSA junior Alex Olkowski, a SAPAC representative, said she was pleased with the turnout.

“I always love these events when student groups come together,” Olkowski said. “The more opportunities to get various groups’ messages out, the better.”

LSA freshman Eric McInerney has been involved with MUSIC Matters since the beginning of the school year and helped the group raise more than $100,000. McInerney worked closely with Ibarra and a number of other students to coordinate SpringFest, adding that he hopes the organization hosts SpringFest every year.

“(Next year) we would probably look to donate to a different charity and bring a different performer,” he said. “Obviously it’s our first year, and it’s tough to get the word out at Michigan because everyone’s so busy. We hope only to grow in the future.”

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