Greeks sing and dance to raise money for charity

Nicole Gennarelli

Every social Greek organization on campus will come together at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Student Center Ballroom to host Songfest, an annual philanthropy event to help raise money for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

For the event, each sorority is paired up with two or three fraternities to make six teams that sing, dance and perform skits. For the past two weeks, the teams have been fundraising and putting together their performances. The team at the end of the event with the highest score — which combines fundraising and performances — is awarded the overall winning trophy.

All donations will go to Hattie Larlham, a local non-profit organization that provides services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Last year, the Greek community raised $15,000, and its goal this year is to raise $20,000.

“If parents (of the Greek community) want to come to the event and donate money too, they can do that,” said Valerie Fisher, Delta Zeta sister and co-chair of the event. “We want to raise as much money as possible right to the end of Songfest.”

Brett Fodor, Delta Upsilon brother and co-chair of Songfest, said donating money to a local organization that provides necessary care to its constituents is a good cause.

“We want to continue to support Hattie Larlham through Greek Life even after we’re gone,” Fodor said. “We’re going to make a recommendation that this be an ongoing co-sponsorship.”

The atmosphere at Songfest is one of high intensity. Fisher and Fodor said the people in the audience, all the Greek chapters, and even the parents attending get really into it.

“A lot of preparation goes into the event,” Fodor said. “Every team spends multiple weeks putting their performances together and coordinating fundraising efforts. When the teams get there, they have this sense of, ‘Lets go out there and show everyone how hard we’ve worked.’”

Alpha Tau Omega President Michael Richardson has participated in Songfest for the past three years. He has done everything from dancing on stage, going door-to-door for fundraising, to coordinating of the event last year.

“Everyone at the event is happy, music is pumping and the teams are going over last minute preparations,” Richardson said. “The atmosphere is very electric.”

Teniell Trolian, assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement and advisor for the Greek community, said this event unifies all the Greek organizations because everyone wants to raise as much money as possible for Hattie Larlham.

“Most college campuses with Greek communities have their community come together at some point in the academic year to do a joint fundraiser,” Trolian said. “I think this is Kent State University’s version of that.”

Trolian said that many Greek organizations do volunteer work with Hatti Larlham and work with people in the community with developmental disabilities.

“Most of the students see the good work they’re doing in the community and want to do anything they can to really support that,” Trolian said.

Songfest is open for everyone on Kent’s campus to attend — not just members of the Greek community.

“I think everyone should come out to support the event because it is philanthropically based for the betterment of a group of people who really need the money,” Fodor said. “It has the spirit of local involvement in the community.”

You can contact Nicole Gennarelli at [email protected].