Greek Music Awards raises money for local charity


Sisters from SORORITY answer questions from Demetrius NAME , YEAR MAJOR, on the mock red carpet at the Greek Music Awards sponsored by Kappa Sigma on Friday. The fundraiser asked greek organizations on campus to submit homemade music videos and raise money–over $3000–for the non-profit Fisher House in Cleveland, which provides housing and assistance to those with a family member fighting cancer. Photo by Valerie Brown.

Kelly Tunney

The first annual Greek Music Awards brought roughly 200 students to the Student Center Ballroom, where their homemade music videos were displayed and judged.

Kappa Sigma sponsored the event, which required Greeks to make music videos to pop, rock and hip hop songs, including those by Nicki Minaj, KISS, Eminem and even Charlie Sheen. Modeled after MTV’s Video Music Awards, the GMAs presented winners for each category with a trophy and let the audience vote for the Best Female Group, Best Male Group and Video of the Year categories.

Wes Norris, liaison officer for Kappa Sigma and senior accounting and finance major, said the fraternity decided to host the event as a fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation, a program that offers “comfort homes” to traveling military families, according to its website.

“The Fisher House Foundation is Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s national philanthropy, so every year they encourage us to raise money solely for the Fisher House,” Norris said. “And we do have kind of a strong presence in the military, so it makes sense.”

The event raised $3,001 through online donations, event ticket sales and voting ballot sales.

Chris Stanley, executive director of Fisher House, accepted the money and said the fundraiser was the most creative he has seen.

“I’ve been doing fundraising for over 30 years, and this is the most fun I’ve had,” Stanley said. “This is the most talented thing that I’ve seen.”

Norris said the idea for a VMA-themed event won out to other ideas for this semester’s philanthropic event.

“We thought of a bunch of different ideas,” Norris said, “but we thought the VMAs would be the best.”

As in the VMAs, entries from “artists” from fraternities and sororities were shown to the audience on a projector. Students also dressed up as celebrities to present the awards.

The award for Best Rock Video went to a group from Phi Kappa Tau, who performed to the song “Inside of You” by Russell Brand from the film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

Kyle Baker, senior business management major and member of Phi Kappa Tau, played Russell Brand in the video. He said his group participated for the philanthropy aspect.

“All these philanthropies that all the Greek organizations put on, they’re all for good causes,” he said. “And it’s just good to come out and support everybody and everyone being involved in the organization and Kent State.”

Norris said because this is the first year the GMAs have been held, he hopes in the future it will grow to the size of some of the other Greek philanthropic events.

“Our biggest thing is that we want to raise as much money as possible,” he said. “LipSync and SongFest raised over $20,000 easily. It kind of tells us that we need to do that kind of type of performance, and I think in a couple years we can definitely get up to that point.”

Contact Kelly Tunney at [email protected].