If you have ever visited the LMU campus, you have seen The Coffee Cart. Located outside the Foley Building, the recognizable green awning provides a college campus staple—great coffee. When a group of LMU students found out the cart’s owners had fallen on hard financial times due to the pandemic, they decided to do something about it.
After LMU alumni Holly Scherner started a GoFundMe for The Coffee Cart’s owners, Michael Casim—another Lion alum—decided to bring awareness to the cause by hosting a virtual charity concert.
Casim, who graduated this past spring, enjoys creating music and DJing at local events. In collaboration with other LMU student DJs, Casim hosted a live stream concert in hopes of entertaining fellow students and encouraging viewers to donate.
“My roommate used to work with The Coffee Cart, and we caught wind that they were falling on hard times economically," said Casim. "Every single one of us knew how integral the coffee cart was to our LMU experience, so we saw it as our responsibility to help them out in any way we could."
The event, which took place this past Saturday night, highlighted nine local DJs— 18fifty7, Xototl, Lambo, Deadmellow, Gsep, One Way, Saint Disco and Mazik. The concert was streamed on Casim’s Twitch account from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. This allowed viewers to watch the event live, interact with others in a chat room and donate to the cause.
“Technically speaking, I am hosting this event on my Twitch channel, but we all played a part in bringing this to life,” said Casim. “Looking back at the event, we would say it was a success. There was no way to specifically track how much money the stream actually generated, but when looking back at the GoFundMe page [on Saturday morning], the fundraiser exceeded its goal, which is nice to see.”
Created on August 9, the cart’s GoFundMe page has exceeded its $1,500 goal, receiving $1,645 from over 100 donors.
This is not the first time LMU’s student DJs have hosted virtual concerts, as the same group held a live stream in partnership with LMU to entertain the community during stay-at-home orders.
“After [the first virtual concert] we decided that we wanted to host another one,” said Casim. “With the advent of Twitch, this was the best way for us to connect with our audience and the LMU community at the moment.”
Among these DJs was Alex Lambeau, a senior political science major. Lambeau, who goes by the stage name DJ Lambo, felt this event was a great way to bring the LMU DJ collaborations into a post COVID-19 world, as the group of student DJs previously played shows together every week.
“The DJ community is very tight at LMU because we usually put on or host events together every Thursday night at Baja Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach. A few hundred students regularly showed up every weekend because the LMU DJ’s all had a very diverse group of friends that spread throughout Greek life, athletics, and clubs throughout campus,” said Lambeau. “We all miss playing our favorite songs in front of a crowd every Thursday night, so just being able to do this gives us some good memories and is pretty fun.”
Casim echoed Lambeau’s statements, claiming he misses their weekly shows but looks forward to more virtual collaborations in the future.
“The LMU DJ community has been very close for some time now. I would say that I'm the newest DJ of the group and they have welcomed me with open arms. Throughout this past year, we have all become great friends and we are all rooting for each other to 'make' it someday,” said Casim. “We all love music and wanted to share that with everyone again.”