This weekend, Cornellians will have the opportunity to take part in sensational indulgence ranging from legalized gambling to wild entertainment and all for a great cause. Saturday night, Alpha Delta Phi will host the Victory Club Charity Ball, a bi-annual black-tie party that Playboy magazine once proclaimed is the greatest party in the Ivy league.
The party will offer many opportunities for tuxedo-clad attendees to gamble away money in the name of philanthropy, featuring black jack, roulette and a big money wheel. The event will also showcase the performing talents of the Cayuga Waiters, Johnny Russo’s East Hill Stompers Jazz Band and the notorious Motown band Bernie Milton and the Soul Patrol.
The charity that maintains plentiful resources of chocolate-covered strawberries and refreshments promises to bring in quite a large crowd.
“The spring party this year — based on tickets already sold — will be the biggest since the time when most Cornell students were in high school,” said George Doerre ’04.
The proceedings from this spring’s party — the gambling losses collected over the course of the night — will go to support a municipal project to revitalize Ithaca’s Northside Neighborhood. The Northside Neighborhood suffers from crime and the potential loss of its core business area. Cornell students have already invested planning effort into the area through a City and Regional Planning class that is working on a proposal with the Northside Steering Committee to develop the neighborhood. Future plans for development include adding a community center, initiating a HEADSTART program, creating a community park and improving the aesthetic appearance of the P&C grocery store.
Past benefactors have included local and national charities such as the Red Cross’s Sept. 11 fund, the Finger Lakes Land Trust and the Ithaca Fire Dept.
“Any and all moneys raised go to charity or improving the event in future semesters. Alpha Delt does not profit from the event. Even brothers who attend but do not take part in planning or operations pay for their admission,” Doerre said.
Members of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity first organized the charity ball in 1918 in the midst of World War I to raise funds for the purchase of allied Victory war bonds. Over the past 80 years that the bi-annual philanthropic party has taken place periodically.
“When I first started running VC three years ago, it had gone through some tough times with the University, and it was canceled several times,” said Thomas Chandy ’03. “In the 80s the party would regularly generate $10,000 for a charity and I think that we are once again going to start hitting that type of mark.”
The popularity of the party has risen since it again began to appear once a semester.
“In the spring, we have many seniors making a point of attending VC. In the fall, many new students attend VC and we believe it presents some of the best parts of Cornell’s Greek system,” Doerre said. To sum up the party in one sentence, he added, “Victory Club: the classiest college party. Period.”
“I promise that this semester’s VC will be the most elegant and rewarding party that you attend during your Cornell experience. Not only is it for an exceptionally positive local cause, but it is well recognized as being ‘the classiest event in the Ivy League,'” Chandy said.
The Alpha Delta Phi house, the John Russell Pope mansion, is at 777 Stewart Ave.
Victory Club tickets are available at the Willard Straight Box Office and Student Agencies. More information is available at the VC website, www.victoryclub.info.
Archived article by Laura Rowntree