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It's not every Thursday night that one can attend a fundraiser and performance group showcase in the living room of a fraternity house. Last night was the exception to the rule.

In the living room of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, Open Minds, a campus mental health awareness group, and Sparks Dance Company, the University's community service dance troupe, co-hosted a coffeehouse with the help of a group of Wharton freshmen completing their Management 100 project. The event raised over $600 for a local charity.

College sophomore Jacqueline Stone, the artistic director of Sparks, said that the group decided to cosponsor the event because "we wanted to promote ourselves a little more on campus... to let people know what we do."

Still, it took a lot of hard work to organize the program -- many different performing groups participated and many local restaurants and businesses, including Starbucks, College Pizza, La Petite Creperie and Allegro Pizza, donated food and beverages.

Throughout the course of the event, almost 200 people crowded into the first floor of Kappa Sig. One dark room, filled with chairs and couches, was packed with students watching the various a cappella groups and dance troupes in action. A second room, significantly brighter, was also full, but of people eating, drinking coffee and talking. On a table lay pamphlets about various mental health issues that afflict University students and others.

Besides three dance numbers by Sparks, Yofi, the Israeli dance troupe, also performed, as well as several a cappella groups, including Connsonance, Off the Beat, the Penn Pipers and Pennchants. A representative from the Excellano Project, the spoken word collective, recited some work, and the evening was rounded out by a performance from the band For Sale.

Many of the groups took the opportunity to spread the word about their upcoming shows and CDs.

Wharton freshman Michelle Tsang, one of the students in the Management 100 group which organized the program, said, "Sparks told us that they wanted us to help promote their name on campus. It is not just this coffeehouse -- we are promoting for them."

A lot of attendees came to see their friends on stage, so there was a steady turnaround of people.

"We came to hear Pennchants," Wharton senior Ariana Jackson explained, "but I thought it was great. It was only $3, and there was even good food. I also bought a little discount card for the Greek Lady, which rocks."

Matt Jacobson, another Management 100 student, concurred that the evening was a success.

"It was so much better than we expected.... We were really surprised," the Wharton freshman said.

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