December 4, 2001

Jazz Night Hits Sigma Pi

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The brothers of Sigma Pi fraternity held their first annual Jazz Night, a formal reception to benefit the Tompkins County Chapter of the Red Cross and the Ithaca Fire Department last Friday.

“We try to do something every semester to fundraise for this cause,” said Jesse Corburn ’03, the co-philanthropy chair for Sigma Pi.

This year the house decided to do something new and throw the Jazz Night party as well as provide support for the Ithaca Fire Department.

“We also want to incorporate the Fire Department, because we want to recognize the impact they have on the Ithaca community,” said Daniel Levy ’03, the past philanthropy chair.

“Its important to recognize the Fire Department as a whole, not just for everything they did on September 11th,” Levy added.

Various organizations and businesses donated money and products to the cause, including Cornell Laundry, Kinko’s, Liquid Productions and the Cornell Store. Even the dessert for the dinner was donated and shipped from New York City’s Junior Cheesecake by a Sigma Pi alum.

The reception was by invitation only, priced at $20 a person and $30 per couple. The event began at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by a gourmet dinner, prepared by the fraternity’s cook, Patrick Spirawk.

The brothers of Sigma Pi invited students and faculty as well as some local Ithaca residents.

“I think it’s really great that we have faculty, students and the administration supporting our cause,” Levy said.

Fifteen faculty members were present at the event.

Prof. Glenn Galbreath, law, faculty-in-residence at the South Baker Tower said, “In some ways it’s surprising. Fraternities and sororities are seen as insular, and this house is taking a lot of trouble and expense for charity. I’m sure they didn’t have to do that.”

Dressed in suits and cocktail dresses, those present at the reception were treated to jazz music by a pick-up band from the Cornell Jazz Ensemble during dinner. Then, the main attraction of the party followed — a New York City band called The Jazz Sandwich, which traveled to Ithaca for the event.

At 8 p.m. the Jazz Sandwich began its performance and the house opened its doors to general public, charging $2 for entrance.

“Sigma Pi will be hosting the Jazz Night next year as well, as we are hoping to make it an annual event and only expand on what we have started,” Corburn said.

There were donation jars set up around the house, and in total Sigma Pi raised $1,500, which will be evenly split between the Ithaca Fire Department and the Tompkins County Chapter of the Red Cross.

“I think many people are eager to help out the Red Cross as much as possible right now, and this is a great way to help while remaining on campus,” said Karen Ching ’03.

Archived article by Veronika Belenkaya