LatkeFest raises money for heart transplant


Ben Woolf, an international ambassador for Alpha Epsilon Pi from England (left), and Kent State senior physical education major Matthew Weaver (right) participate in a latke eating contest at AEPi’s annual LatkeFest at Hillel on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Woolf defeated Weaver with a tie breaker, consuming a total of nine latke cakes. All of the fifth annual festival’s funds will go to Save a Child’s Heart, a cause that benefits children in need of transplants. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Hilary Crisan

Kent State’s Alpha Epsilon Pi gave back Thursday, during the fifth Annual LatkeFest at the Hillel house, Kent State’s Jewish student center.

Tickets were $5 for pre-sale and $7 at the door. The proceeds from LatkeFest went to Save a Child’s Heart, one of AEPi’s official philanthropy project’s organizations.

“We are raising money for children in need of heart transplants,” said Marc Scolnick, senior business management major and AEPi philanthropy chairman. “Our goal is $10,000 so we can give one heart transplant.”

AEPi members said they chose Hillel because of its resources and venue. Both worked closely together this year for the cause Scolnick said.

“We teamed up and, this year especially, we’ve been working on all cylinders,” Scolnick said. “(Hillel) is contacting their alumni and e-mail list, we’re contacting our email list and letters to our potential donors. It was a co-sponsorship this year.”

Hannah Servedio, sophomore communication studies major and executive assistant at Hillel, said AEPi and Hillel’s relationship was important to keep up throughout planning LatkeFest and beyond.

“Since they are the Jewish fraternity on campus, we just do our best to coordinate with them and work on their schedule,” Servedio said. “We’ve always tried to keep a good relationship with them. So when they needed to use our facilities, we were more than happy to oblige.”

Ricky Marcus, director of Jewish student life, said AEPi’s and Hillel’s partnership for this event was natural.

“We’re happy with the turnout and the way that it’s been going so far. We’re really proud to be hosting for the fifth time,” Marcus said. “(AEPi and Hillel) work very hard together to build up the Jewish community. This was an idea that came from AEPi, and they reached out to us for our support. We hope that it continues every year.”

Students, such as sophomore fashion design major Sophia Witt, said they think events LatkeFest is inventive way to combine religion and a good cause.

“It’s good that there’s opportunities like this and that AEPi uses their religious aspect towards their philanthropy,” Witt said.

Contact Hilary Crisan at [email protected].