The Fort: a place to live, a place to party, a place never to walk alone and a place to give back.
Many students call the Fort their home, or at least the scene for weekend shenanigans. From going to The Hill for karaoke Thursday night to attending a house party Friday and Saturday, there is always something happening in the Fort.
In recent months, philanthropic house parties and events such as RageFest have capitalized on an increasing awareness on campus, said Ben Gaines, the founder of a music-charity organization.
Known as The Stoop Kids, Gaines' group strives to support local bands while donating to charities.
"We don't want this to be a raggedy little (group of) six Fort kids throwing parties together," Gaines, senior in mechanical engineering, said. "We want to be an actual thing that can help the Knoxville community.
"We want to help Knoxville grow and enrich, because it's given so much to us so now it's our turn to give it back."
In September, The Stoop Kids organized Ragefest, a party that raised more than $1,000 for a children's disabilities program, Camp Koinonia. Gaines said the passion grows from the personal experience of spending a week with the kids.
"The thing about that week is people are like 'Oh we're going to help these kids,' but you come out of it and they helped you more than you helped them," Gaines said.
Gaines said the parties give students an opportunity to help. He specifically addressed students who aren't involved in the large charity efforts of Greek organizations.
"I was like 'Well why aren't Fort kids doing philanthropy?'" Gaines said. "We all love having fun. We all pay to go to these music events. Why not get people together and not only help support local music, but at the same time help support great local organizations?"
Stoop Kids' online marketing coordinator Sallie Martin said the Fort Sanders community is one with a not-so-great reputation. The efforts to support the community, she said, will help the bad reputation improve.
"If people see that there is a group of students who live in the Fort who are devoted to raising money and providing good back to the city of Knoxville, I think that definitely helps the neighborhood improve," Martin, junior in tourism and restaurant management, said.
One Ragefest attendee, Taylor Fewell, senior in ecology and evolutionary biology, said events such as Ragefest depend solely on the effort of the community.
"The Fort is absolutely a community and everyone attends these events for the purposes of meeting people, listening to good music and enjoying the colorful nature of the Fort," Fewell said.
Nathan Gilleran is a drummer for local bands, Johnny Astro and the Big Bang, Grandpa's Stash and Lipliplip Hands and has played multiple shows for charity.
"Knowing that you're doing it to benefit others is a great feeling," Gilleran said. "I think if these events are going on and people catch wind that it's for charity then it can definitely generate a more positive vibe in the Fort."
According to Gaines, the house parties thrown by The Stoop Kids are very well tolerated among residents of Knoxville. Locals volunteer their house and bands are brought in to play. A cover charge is applied and the proceeds are split between the bands and The Stoop Kids organization to fund larger charity events, such as Ragefest.
The Stoop Kids organization will benefit Camp Koinonia Saturday for a Halloween concert at the Hill. O Youth will perform, followed by Knoxville Superjam, which is made up of various musicians from local bands. The event begins after the football game and a costume contest will take place at midnight.
Like The Stoop Kids on Facebook for more information.