Tonight was the fourth annual Zilly Jam, a concert and fundraiser held in memory of Billy Zimmerman.
Billy was a sophomore at Villanova University, and during a spring break trip in Mexico in 2013 he was killed in a car accident that also injured four other Villanova students,
I did not know Billy, but I knew students who did, and they all noted what a special person he was. Billy was apparently well known off campus as well. A local pizza shop that Billy frequented has renamed its french fries to “zilly fries.”
Zilly Jam was created by Billy’s fraternity as a way to honor and keep his memory alive on campus through music. Money raised at the event goes to support a scholarship that was created in Billy’s name.
This year’s event included a cappella groups, a piano playing and singing duo, and two brothers rocking out on electric guitar and electric drums. The evening began with a moving rendition of Amazing Grace by the President of Villanova, Father Peter Donohue.
The night also featured the debut of a brief documentary that was put together by a fellow fraternity brother. Titled, “Live Like Billy”, it offers a beautiful, touching portrait of a young man who loved life, and was loved in return.
And here are some clips from tonight’s performances:
Congratulations to all who participated in this event. It is a wonderful way to keep Billy’s memory alive and to find some good in such a tragic event.
It also highlights why students find Villanova to be such a special place.