Jared Simon: the man with the mission.
Steve Bursky: the man with the means.
Dispatch: the band that performed for free.
Working together, Simon and Bursky, two Pi Kappa Phi brothers, organized the fraternity's second annual Pack Your Bags fundraiser, which packed both Mad 4 Mex and the Electric Factory this weekend for two good causes.
The fundraiser -- which featured a Dispatch concert Saturday night -- raised an estimated $40,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and PUSH America.
"We're trying to show Greek life is a lot more than partying and being typical frat guys," said Bursky, who is also Dispatch's manager.
And InterFraternity Council President and Pi Kapp brother Conor Daly agreed.
"This is an example of the good aspect of the Greek system," the College junior said.
Cystic Fibrosis affects nearly 30,000 adults and children in the United States -- Simon's younger brother being one of them.
The disease affects one's ability to digest food, and there is currently no cure.
The CF Foundation is working to treat and develop a cure for the disease.
The fundraiser's second cause -- PUSH America -- is Pi Kapp's national outreach project and is an organization that works to develop projects to help the severely disabled.
"I think disability rights are something to really stand behind," said band member Chad Urmston, who has worked with the disabled at a summer camp for the last 10 years.
"When Steve came and said, 'Do you want to do a benefit?'... I definitely wanted to do it," he added.
And Bursky expected no less from the band -- even though it is currently not on tour.
"They're really into charity and really into these two causes," the College sophomore said.
Virtually all of the proceeds from Dispatch's Saturday night show will go to charity.
"They're not going to get a penny for it," said crew member Patrick Rhyne. "It all goes to charity."
Since the show sold out so far in advance, the band decided to perform Saturday afternoon as well -- but the proceeds from this show were not donated to charity.
About 500 people attended the Max 4 Mex event on Friday night and 2,900 people flooded the Electric Factory, with tickets selling out over a month in advance.
"Music has that opportunity to bring a lot of people together," said band member Pete Heimbold.
The fundraiser's festivities included a raffle featuring prizes ranging from a lunch with University President Judith Rodin to a trip to London -- the trip serving as the motivation behind the fundraiser's name.
While the majority of the raffle winners were announced on Friday, Dispatch revealed the top winner's at the close of the concert.
While the fundraiser's inauguration last year featured the Mad 4 Mex party, organizers were blown away by the increased momentum and energy that the band brought to this year's event.
"This has exceeded my wildest dreams," Simon said. "It grew out of a big party, a fun party to something that's big for the city. It's been tremendous."
But Saturday's concert did not only draw fans from the City of Brotherly Love.
High school senior Sharon Brett, who works for one of the opening acts, traveled from Princeton Junction, N.J., to listen to good music and support a good cause.
"Having a concert with three awesome bands is a sure way to sell out the place," she said.
And the draw of talent and charity was too good for even the bands themselves to pass up.
"When you get invited to do something like that, you can't not do it," said Paul Ottinger of opening act Virginia Coalition.
And performers and audience members alike said that the concert was a good time filled with singing, dancing -- and yes, crowd surfing.
"It was awesome," said Brad Corrigan of Dispatch. Twenty-nine hundred "people is a lot of energy."
The band wanted to make sure that its fans know it is appreciative of the $23.50 they each shelled out to see the show.
"We want everyone to know we appreciate them coming out, raising some money and having a good time," Corrigan said.
Russell Brisby, Dispatch's drum tech, summed up the evening with a simple statement.
"It's typical Dispatch," he said without hesitation.Comments powered by Disqus
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