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TMC student spearheads “Pink Coffee”

Posted on: October 15

By Elisa Adams

Many todays are wasted dreaming about the “someday.” Then all too quickly, “someday” is replaced with “if only.” But the regretful visionary can learn from people like Alice Nyquist. She’s 20 years old and knows exactly what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She’s already started doing it.

Hers was a concept years in the making, three months in the planning and more than a hundred hours in the working. Finally, on Saturday, Oct. 5, she saw her dream fleshed out. It was a coffeehouse with local musicians, raising money and awareness for the breast-cancer foundation, Circle of Hope. She named it “Pink Coffee.” From 3-6 p.m. at the Railroad Café in Newhall, approximately 70 people came and showed support.

“Pink Coffee” was the first event born out of Nyquist’s growing desire to use live music to help people. Playing the piano for about sixteen years, she grew up with a musical appreciation. However, it wasn’t until high school that she began to seriously consider a career on the production side of the music industry.

During that same time, Nyquist did a project on various musicians who were using their success as a platform to fight human trafficking and slavery. That research combined her passion for music with a passion for people.

“Music is so powerful and people come together through it,” Nyquist says. “It is a good opportunity to use a professional career to make a difference.”

With this burdening her heart for some years, she began formulating the plan for a coffeehouse fundraiser in early July. From her home in Colorado she made phone calls and was amazed at how easily her desire became a reality.

“It was God’s idea,” Nyquist says. “To be honest, it was one of those things I couldn’t get out of my head.”

After giving her the idea, the Lord sovereignly directed her to an organization. Circle of Hope is a Santa Clarita-based breast cancer foundation that offers support for those who are fighting the disease.

“We provide financial, emotional and educational assistance to the individuals here in the Santa Clarita Valley who are diagnosed with breast cancer,” says executive director, Ray Tippet.

Circle of Hope was founded in 2004 and now the non-profit organization reaches about 150 women per year. It relies completely on donations and volunteers, and is appreciative of Nyquist’s efforts.

After deciding on the charity, Nyquist began searching for willing musicians. Through ReverbNation’s website she contacted several local artists and every one wanted to be a part of the special event. The seven who participated were: Taylor Rae, Bryce Hitchcock, Breaking Tempo, Abi Ann, Ellysa Rose, Di Lee and Mzuri Moyo. One of the singers, Lee, was enthusiastic about why she wanted to participate in the event.

“It helps awareness of breast cancer! I just can’t imagine what it would be like,” Lee said. “I am a hundred percent in support of all non-profit foundations. I feel each of us can make a difference. It’s all about helping each other and raising awareness.”

Through mutual friends Nyquist heard about the Railroad Café and the managers gave her permission the same day she contacted them. She was in awe of the way the pieces continued to seamlessly come together.

Once the organization, musicians and café were set, Nyquist began to arrange other details. She found that being a student in college and a resident assistant in her dorm while trying to plan “Pink Coffee” was not as easy as she anticipated.

“It’s definitely something I walked into not realizing what would need to be done,” Nyquist says. “It taught me a lot about how God has a plan for everything even the things we think are our own plans and how He works out all the details for His plan … It was beyond what I could have asked or imagined … It was just so good.”

Even the aspects that did not happen according to plan actually worked out for the better. For example, on the day of it was too windy to perform outside like they had hoped. But when the music was moved inside, it created a more intimate, community feel.

Looking back, Nyquist was greatly encouraged by the event. From the music to the people to the conversations, “Pink Coffee” was a success in her eyes. Most importantly, it raised awareness of Circle of Hope and highlighted the ability everyone possesses to help the local community. It was the start of putting into action the passion in her heart.

“I want to do this for the rest of my life,” Nyquist says, “I want to help musicians use music to make a difference.”

She’s already begun.

Elisa Adams is a TMC communications major.