Denton nonprofit Friends With Benefits plans a rockin’ celebration for International Women’s Day while benefiting two causes in the community.
Denton nonprofit Friends With Benefits will host its third annual She-Rock event on March 4 and 5, 2022, to not only celebrate International Women’s Day, but also raise money for two women-focused nonprofits in the Denton area.
Wanting to Make a Difference
Friends With Benefits (FWB) was founded in Denton in 2013 by three friends — Mindy Arendt, Kiara Helgesen, and Charlie Hunter.
“We started this nonprofit with three friends just wanting to make a difference,” says Mindy Arendt, one of the group’s co-founders as well as president.” As the three friends were charity-oriented and had event experience, they decided to use their talents to produce fundraising events.
Their first such event was to help raise funds for those affected by the tornado outbreak in 2013. Now eight years later, FWB has grown to a volunteer staff of about 30 and holds multiple fundraising events and campaigns throughout the year. “A lot of it has just organically grown with what the community needed and where we could step in — every year we end up adding something,” Arendt says.
For example, FWB now has a Disaster Relief Fund following last year’s winter storms that allow them to purchase water, blankets, and other supplies for Detonites when things happen like that again. FWB also has its Keep Denton Warm campaign, which collects winter-wear items and blankets from November through February via donation boxes at local Denton businesses. The items are then distributed to people experiencing homelessness in the area.
FWB offers an Arts Scholarship Program each year, where Arendt says they provide $500 scholarships to further education in the arts. Additionally, they provide $500 grants to local music, performance art, and visual art artists in the local area as well. The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarships and grants is May 15, 2022.
The group also partners with Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home to provide birthday parties for foster children. Arendt says she has a soft spot in her heart for Cumberland, which is a nonprofit her aunt and uncle volunteered for when attending UNT and where they adopted her cousin. “When they reached out and wanted to partner up, I was like yes let’s go,” she says. “We asked them what their needs were and one of them was birthday parties, which fits perfectly with our aesthetic and theme. We throw fun events — let’s make sure these kids get to celebrate.”
And FWB still holds a number of large fundraising events throughout the year, such as their annual We Denton Drag It in September to celebrate the LGBTIQA+ community and raise funds and awareness for local organizations. “We usually bring one of the contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race in — it’s a really great event, we have a lot of fun,” Arendt says. “We get to showcase local LGT artists and really have a great community event full of support in a safe place.”
Speaking of large fundraising events, this year’s She-Rock 2022 will feature two days of entertainment spread across three stages at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio.
The main entertainment focus for She-Rock is music with about 20 female-fronted musical acts lined up over the two days. Friday night’s headliner is Los Angeles-based hip-hop rapper LG (Team Genius), and Saturday’s headliners are Denton staple Pearl Earl on the indoor stage and the Seratones from Shreveport on the outdoor stage.
“I’m so excited for these headliners and all of our opening acts — everybody is so talented,” Arendt says. “It’s going to be two days of jam-packed entertainment of very talented women.”
In addition to the musical acts, She-Rock also features the Claws Out Comedy troupe and a DJ dance party, both on Friday.
And starting this year, FWB will present six She-Rock Awards to highlight women — including business owners, educators, public servants, and community leaders — who have made a positive impact in Denton County. “We’re very excited to honor these women who do such amazing things in Denton County,” Arendt says.
This year’s She-Rock beneficiaries are the Bridge Breast Network and Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF). The Bridge Breast Network offers breast cancer diagnostic and treatment services to those who are low-income, uninsured, and underinsured. And DCFOF provides services to those impacted by sexual abuse, domestic violence, and rape.
Arendt urges Denton residents to attend She-Rock 2022 not just for an “amazing line-up of talent,” but also because 100% of ticket sales go to this year’s beneficiaries. “None of us get paid — we pay our artists, we pay our entertainers, but that is all covered by sponsorships,” Arendt adds. “So 100% of your ticket goes to those nonprofits … to use it the best way that they need.”
She-Rock 2022 will take place Friday, March 4th, and Saturday, March 5th at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio.
For more information on She-Rock 2022, to view the full line-up, learn about volunteer opportunities, and purchase tickets, visit fwbdenton.com/she-rock.