Today: Jul 23, 2024

Benefit concert sets personal fundraising record

Photo courtesy
Nicole Velazquez and Erica Gammon volunteer at Delta Phi Epsilon’s concert.
RYAN MORGANManaging Editor

 Music echoed through the student center as local bands put on a show to remember last Thursday night. Seven different groups donated their time at Delta Phi Epsilon’s third annual benefit concert in an effort to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Students, locals from the New Haven community and devoted band followers showed up to listen to the groups rock out in the ballroom. 

“We thought it would be fun to not only come out and support DPhiE [Delta Phi Epsilon] but actually, Steve Comeau, my roommate and a nursing major, was telling us about Cystic Fibrosis and what it actually is and how horrible it really is,” said Doug Belliveau, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. “Listening to him motivated us to come down and show support and help raise money for the cause.” 

Belliveau said his organization had a great time at the event and was happy to help raise the money. Cassandra Weed, vice president of programming for Delta Phi Epsilon, said the concert raised $920.40 for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 

“It’s one of our main philanthropies. As an organization, we support the foundation by raising money to go towards research to find a cure as well as helping those that have the disease,” said Weed. “We put on two main events to fundraise: the benefit concert in the fall and a male mock beauty pageant, Deepher Dude, in the spring.” 

According to the foundation’s website, Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease. Due to a defective gene and its protein product, the body produces thick sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and lead to life-threatening infections, among other side effects. About 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and the median age of survival is now in the late 30s for a person with Cystic Fibrosis. 

When choosing bands, Weed said the sorority made sure there was something to fit everyone’s taste. John Eno, vice president of Alpha Phi Delta, attended the event for the second year in a row. Eno said he enjoyed the event and the variety of bands. 

“The concert was a really good event and gave the opportunity to see bands not many had even heard of,” said Eno. “It also gave the opportunity to help bring awareness to a foundation not a lot of people know about and to the awful disease itself.” 

Weed credited Melissa Russo, philanthropy chair of Delta Phi Epsilon, for choosing the bands and doing much of the legwork for the event. Weed said Russo networked with sisters and bands to build a solid list of performers. Bands included: All Hands on Deck, The Caligulists, Highlight of the Night, Angry Bears, Adrian a.k.a. Soulo, Fourth and Goal and Akira. Akira kicked off the night grabbing the crowd’s attention with his dance moves and blue hair. 

“The first band that came on came off weird at first, but as far as entertainment goes it was pretty entertaining,” said Belliveau. 

Weed said working with the performers was very interesting since she isn’t an agent, but was happy she had the chance to talk to new people who are trying to get their music out there. 

Searching for a variety of bands wasn’t the only change made to the benefit concert this year. For the first time, the event was held on campus. Eno said he was pleased with the switch, as he got lost trying to find last year’s venue. Moving the concert to the ballroom made it more accessible to freshmen without cars and allowed more people to attend, according to Weed. 

“Typically Deepher Dude raises more money than the benefit concert, but this year’s benefit concert raised triple the amount it did last year so it is definitely becoming more successful,” said Weed. “At the end of the year, we will cut a check to the foundation with all the proceeds from both events.” 

Weed said Delta Phi Epsilon was grateful for the campus support, especially from fellow Greeks. However, for Belliveau, supporting isn’t an obligation, it’s what he wants to do. 

“In my four years I’ve seen a sort of give and take kind of thing,” said Belliveau. “It benefits the whole community if we are all helping each other out. It spreads the mindset across the whole campus and helps get more people involved. 

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