Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Central Arkansas Sig Eps Fundraise for YouthAIDS

Fraternity raises money for AIDS prevention
By Ashten Adamson

Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity raised over $1,100 for YouthAIDS on Aug. 21 during their annual "Rock the Yard" concert.

Senior Jim Connelly, Sigma Phi Epsilon philanthropy chairman, said YouthAIDS is an organization their chapter is proud to raise money for.

"YouthAIDS is our national philanthropy," he said. "It is an organization that follows our values."
Connelly said each year has proved successful for the benefit concert, with the first "Rock the Yard" premiering two years ago.

According to youthaids.org, Sigma Phi Epsilon partnered with YouthAIDS in 2005. The alliance was made to create an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign on college campuses.

According to ucasigep.com, "YouthAIDS is an HIV/AIDS education and prevention group that targets at-risk youth between the ages of 15-24 with positive, upbeat messages of abstinence, mutual fidelity and consistent and correct condom use for sexually active young adults."

Like past years, Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted the benefit concert on the front lawn of their fraternity house on Donaghey Avenue. There was a $5 admission fee and donations benefited the YouthAIDS charity.

Connelly said the members of Sigma Phi Epsilon focused on advertising more this year in order to get more people to come.

"We printed flyers and passed them out on Move-In Day, and we also left some in the student center," he said. "We used our own stages, got a local place to do the lighting and Chi Alpha gave us a discount on the sound equipment."

Over 200 people came out to enjoy the bands, which included Adam Hambrick, Townsend T. and Cayerio.

Senior Kate Post said: "I came out to support Sig Ep. I think the YouthAIDS charity is a great organization that they raise money for. I always try to come out and watch Townsend whenever she is playing. I was surprised at how much I liked Cayerio. I thought they were really fun and energetic."

Cayerio covered popular songs, and the crowd seemed to enjoy their renditions of the Black Eyed Peas and other music groups.

"It is great to have an event to come to right when school starts," Post said. "I got to see a bunch of people that I hadn't seen all summer."

Post said she thinks YouthAIDS is a great charity to raise money for.

"It is really sad that there are so many people who are uneducated about HIV/AIDS," she said. "I think that the money raised from this event will go to benefit so many people who wouldn't have access to such help."

According to youthaids.org, roughly one million people live with HIV/AIDS in the United States and 1.5 million Americans have been infected with HIV. More than 524,000 have died of AIDS.