Greek Life takes fundraising to the stage at SongFest 2014


Phi Mu, Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Sigma Kappa present an Aladdin-themed performance at Songfest in the Student Center Ballroom on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014.

Gabrielle Martinez

The entire Kent State Greek community sang and danced its way to raising more than $30,000 for S.A.V.E., Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, at SongFest 2014 on Nov. 15 in the Kent State Ballroom. 

SongFest is a song-and-skit fundraising philanthropy competition all members of the Greek community participate in. This year, the routines focused on suicide education and prevention. 

S.A.V.E. is one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to suicide prevention, according to national website. “This was my first time going to a philanthropy event and I was not disappointed,” said Melany Eakin, a senior biochemistry major. “I was so impressed with all of the performances.” 

The lower level of the ballroom was filled to capacity while spectators from the Greek organizations and general admission overflowed the balcony. 

The audience went from roaring to silent as two Phi Mu sisters began by holding a banner on center stage reading, “In memory of Robin Williams 1951-2014,” with a faint Williams monologue playing in the background. The crowd remained silent in honor of the recent suicide victim.

Phi Mu was joined by Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Sigma Kappa as they kicked off SongFest 2014 aperformance inspired by Disney Classic Aladdin, in memory of Williams.

The crowd roared as the team sang and danced in sync to popular songs while educating the audience about suicide prevention. In their skit, the genie suffered from depression and Aladdin rescued him by informing him about S.A.V.E. 

“The competition is really hard this year,” said Kaci Mikusevich, vice president of philanthropy and community service for the Panhellenic Council, said “It is a combination of fundraising and performance that will win the competition.”

Mikusevich, along with Will Hutton, vice president of philanthropy and community service for the Interfraternity Council, organized and emceed SongFest.

The judging panel included Carrie Berta and Kristen DeLambo from Kent State’s Psychological Services. There were also two S.A.V.E. representatives, Dan Reidenberg and Linda Mars, as well as a guest judge, Deb McKee, who is Mikusevich’s mother. 

“The judges were picked out of credibility, and none of them are affiliated with any chapter, so the competition was fair,” Mikusevich said. “My mother is no stranger to suicide, so I figured she would be perfect.” 

Taking home the first place trophy in performance were the sisters of Sigma Sigma Sigma and the brothers of Phi Delta Theta, Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon with their routine “Justice League.” 

A young girl’s thoughts of depression were brought to life by the hit song “Monster” by Rihanna and Eminem, as her demons whisked her away into a dark world. The Justice League not far behind, saved her from her suicide thoughts.

The first place team in fundraising, totaling $6,418 to S.A.V.E., went to Alpha Xi Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon. The team also won first overall for SongFest with its Shrek-inspired theme. 

“There is a system in place that each team has to achieve in order to win overall, such as a percentage of the team attending the S.A.V.E. speaker, purchasing the most SongFest shirts and bracelets, the most funds raised and best performance,” Mikusevich said. “These were all ways the chapters could earn points in order to win overall.” 

People’s choice was awarded to Delta Gamma, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Lambda Chi Alpha with their routine, “Story of a Girl.” The skit centered on the average American girl who could no longer take the pressures of high school and leaned on her friends who introduced her to S.A.V.E.

Mikusevich then announced the final total of $31,099.45 in fundraising, all for S.A.V.E.

“I can’t believe that our said community raised all of that money,” said Laci Lock, a sophomore fashion merchandising major. “This money is going towards a great cause and the Greeks had a fun time doing it.”

For more information about S.A.V.E., visit or call 1-800-273-8255.

Contact Gabrielle Martinez at [email protected].