Bailey Hall reverberated with music and laughter Saturday night as 13 student performing groups took the stage at IthacAid, the tenth annual benefit concert made possible by the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the Chi Omega sorority.
Proceeds from the concert tickets and T-shirts benefit the Tompkins County Special Olympics, a branch of the national organization that provides athletic coaching and competition for the mentally retarded.
IthacAid was a public debut for many of the performers in the a cappella and comedy groups.
The Hangovers, an all-male a capella group, had three new members whom they initiated during an on-stage tent-building competition.
“I could feel something was up,” Wes Walker ’04 said. “It could have been a lot worse. They like to embarrass me.”
The Cayuga’s Waiters also put their new members on the spot with a game they called “Spot The New Guy.” The group ducked down during specific sections of the song and the “new guys” were left standing or scrambling to catch on.
The Whistling Shrimp, an improvisational comedy troupe, entertained the audience with games that included audience participation.
“I give them a lot of credit because they have to feed off each other and they don’t know what is coming,” Leah Wittman ’04 said. “They have to think on their toes.”
The Skits-O-Phrenics, another comedy group, performed four original skits.
“The Skits were hilarious,” said Laura Davis ’04. “I thought I was going to fall over!”
Also adding a touch of comedy to the show was Last Call, inserting Cornell-oriented phrases and images into the Wrigley’s Big Red chewing gum theme song from its television commercials.
The Chai Notes, a Jewish a cappella group, entertained the audience with a Hebrew song entitled Paranoia, a Yiddish lullaby from Schindler’s List, and a rendition of Turn, Turn, Turn.
Cornellians came to IthacAid for many reasons, including cheering friends on stage.
“I have friends in a number of the groups,” Kristin MacLauchlan ’03 said.
Jeff Malchoff ’03 said came out because he simply “wanted to support the Special Olympics.”
According to Edmund Aronowitz ’02, a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, this year’s IthacAid has been in the works since last fall, and the organizers were pleased with the outcome.
“Attendance was good and people seemed to enjoy themselves,” he said. “We will probably start organizing for next year right after this.”
The fraternity has donated an average of $5,000 each year to this organization. Ford Motor Company also donated approximately $1,000 to the event, according to Aronowitz.
“Last year we donated $7,500 to the Special Olympics; hopefully this year we will be able to donate $5,000,” he said.
Archived article by Rachel Einschlag