ERIN SCHNEIDER/THE VISTA
Carnival games, square-dancing and donations for Haiti flooded the UC on Friday night. Sigma Phi Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma collaborated to create a country-western themed fundraiser called the “Cowtown Throwdown” to raise money for UNICEF. Students dressed as hillbillies, cowgirls, cowboys and even farm animals attended the fundraiser with overwhelming enthusiasm.
“It was refreshing to see the student body come together to support such a good cause,” sophomore Rachel Lee said. More than 450 students attended to play games, dance and show their support for Haiti.
A wide variety of organizations collaborated to raise money for the fundraiser. The booths occupied by each organization were either informational or had a western-style county fair game such as “Lasso a Kappa,” “Milk Pong,” or even, “Pin the tie on the Alcala Club member.” The venue not only provided county fair games and prizes, but also had an entirely separate dance floor. Two Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers tag-teamed the spin tables with the musical stylings of DJ Nick Metrie and Fergie Ferg.
Mid-way through the dancing festivities, Ruffles and Bows, a professional group of square dancers, led a step-by-step lesson on how to do traditional square dancing. The square dancing group expressed their excitement to teach an old-school dance to a younger generation.
Sophomore Mark Toyama, creator of Cowtown Throwdown, said, “I really feel like USD as a whole stepped it up for this event to show the children in Haiti that we care.” The massive 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 affected over 3 million people, leaving the impoverished country in desperate need of help. With nearly half of Haiti’s population under 18 years of age, the majority of the youth have been left injured, homeless and orphaned.
Lee expresses that, “supporting Haiti hits close to home when reaching out to people that are in the same age group as us.” With the cost of admission alone, the event raised over $2,500. Also, a donation box at the door was stuffed with bills adding up to $415. Toyama estimates that the Cowtown Throwdown raised a total of roughly $3,500.
In response to the enthusiasm and attendance of the Cowtown Throwdown, Toyama was overwhelmed by the support that USD collectively contributed. “Though I did put a lot of my time and effort into this event, I can’t take credit for its success. That is why I believe this event was USD’s, or better yet, Haiti’s.” When asked if the Cowtown Throwdown will become an annual event, Toyama said, “Given the amazing response from the student body and the experience of putting this on, I think the second annual Cowtown Throwdown has a nice ring to it.”