It’s a Friday afternoon, and Canyon Crest senior Noah Levinson of Cardiff is on a lunch break. It’s well-deserved because, along with juggling school, he’s also the mastermind behind Hallow II, a Nov. 1 event at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center which creates a club-like atmosphere for high school students to celebrate the night after Halloween.
“Nightclubs are for people over 18 or 21, so last year me and my friend thought we should just open one up for high school students,” he explains. “We then realized we could do it one night (a year), and that’s how everything started.”
Levinson’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t come out of the blue. When he was 12, he took up the guitar, which later led to a passion for music and then the founding of his own DJ company. “I started DJ-ing weddings, corporate events, and bar mitzvahs,” he remembers. “After some time, it was something I realized I wanted to do a lot more of.”
That passion became the springboard for last year’s Halloween event, the first, and by all accounts it was a success.
“We had no idea what to expect,” he says of the night, which also had a philanthropic angle. “A little over 200 people attended and we were able to donate a portion of our profits to Stand Up For Kids, a nonprofit that aids homeless teenagers in San Diego. Throughout my life, I’ve been deeply involved in Hebrew school, and I’ve embraced a philanthropic lifestyle. My goal is to fuse my passion for music with giving back to the community.”
When Levinson was researching charities for which this year’s event could raise funds, he found something that troubled him. “I settled on Just in Time, which aids foster children,” he explains. “I read on their website that a huge percentage of foster youth end up in jail or become homeless. It’s hard to read something like that, so I wanted to help.”
As a result, Levinson decided to make this year’s event 100 percent nonprofit. “I’ve always heard that today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow, and I think it’s unfair that there are factors which make that idea harder for today’s disadvantaged youth,” he explains. “I wanted to give back.”
Tickets for Hallow II are $15 presale and $20 at the door. The four-hour event is set up much like a festival; to keep it fresh, all four DJs (including Salinas’ Mr. DeeJay and Ayla Simone) are performing for exactly an hour each. In addition, attendees should look forward to a black-light-sensitive airbrush body tattoo artist, state-of-the-art lightning equipment, games, and giveaways.
Levinson doesn’t graduate until spring, but he’s on the hunt for colleges and has his hopes set on New York University to study business and music.
“These are things I have a passion for,” he says.
For information and tickets for Hallow II, check out http://www.hallow2.com. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.