In January 2006, Khaliq Gant ’08 was tragically injured during basketball practice in a collision that dislocated two vertebrae in his neck. Immediately following surgery, Gant spent several months at the Shepherd Center for rehabilitation in Atlanta, Ga.
Another Cornell student, a brother of the Chi Phi fraternity, was also treated at the Shepherd Center last year. After recovering from their injuries, both students are back on campus.
As a symbol of their gratitude to the Shepherd Center that brought their brother back on campus, the Chi Phi fraternity is hosting their 2nd annual benefit concert at The Nines tonight.
Four bands — Adobe Road, Rubber Buns and Liquor, Apoptosis and The Devil’s Amigos — will play at 10 p.m. with the entry fee going to the rehabilitation center.
Chad Bernstein ’08, president of Chi Phi, said, “We chose to donate all the money from the concert tonight to the rehab center for spinal cord injuries because some of our brothers visited the injured Cornell student when he was there last year. The brothers thought it was a great facility and saw the incredible help and support they were giving our friend.”
“We all know the story about the Cornell basketball player who also went to the Shepherd Center and now another Cornell friend was treated there too, so we thought this would be a great way to help support it,” he added.
The Shepherd Center was ranked 12th on the U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital List for Rehabilitation in 2006.
“We all think it’s a great place and all have a personal connection to it,” Bernstein said. “Our main goal is to celebrate and forget about all the garbage that goes down at Cornell. We want to celebrate life, being alive and having good friends.”
Three of the rock bands include Chi Phi members as players and the other has a big local following.
“Everyone in our chapter has been helping out with this event to show our support for our brother who was hurt,” Bernstein said. “It’s been a good event for us to come together as a house.”
Last year, the benefit concert raised just short of $2,000. Chi Phi hopes to increase its donation to the rehabilitation center this year.
Andrea Ippolito ’06, a Near Peer Fellow for the OFSA and representative for the Creating Chapters of Excellence program, has helped to organize the event. The Creating Chapters of Excellence program works to provide quality education and cultural programming within the Greek community.
“The CCE program provided the Chi Phi fraternity with assistance to make this program happen,” Ippolito said. “The gentlemen are very pumped up and inspired by their cause. They have a lot of enthusiasm which will definitely lead to a successful event.”
“The Shepherd Center was amazing to our brother, his family and friends and to the fraternity. They took great care of him and allowed us to keep in touch with him. Now that he’s back at Cornell and doing well, we’ve decided again to continue the legacy and donate the money to the center that helped our friend so much,” said Anil Nathan ’07, a member of The Devil’s Amigos.
Nathan reported that the injured brother is back at Cornell and made great improvements in his health while he was at the center.
“I think he was really happy to see that people on campus were still thinking about him here in Ithaca. He is comforted to know that our fraternity is making this effort to raise money for the center because of what they’ve done for him,” Nathan said.
“This concert will definitely become a tradition and grow as the years go on. We are trying to make it less about Chi Phi as a single fraternity but as more of something for people throughout the campus to come and listen to good music for a good cause,” he added.