Bowl-a-thon raises money for charity

Members of the pop-rock band Good Charlotte bowled a few frames before playing an hour-long acoustic set at the end of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s 24-hour bowl-a-thon Thursday and Friday.

The event, held in the Hippodrome, raised money for the Frank Foundation, which provides aid to children in extreme cases of need.

Organizers originally planned the event to raise money for a bone marrow transplant for a young girl, Ksenia Nalivaeva, whom the Frank Foundation had supported until she died two weeks ago. Students turned the event into a general fundraiser for leukemia.

“We started the bowl-a-thon to try and help this little girl and to try to raise awareness to this amazing charity,” said sophomore Rafid Fadul, event organizer and former employee of the Frank Foundation.

Fadul and other Sigma Phi Epsilon members said they worked hard to make this a lively and profitable event. Fraternity members collected donations from students and others bowling on the Hippodrome lanes, which remained open for the duration of the event.

“We look at this as a big community service event that we really want to be successful,” said Anthony Balestriari, a sophomore and Sigma Phi Epsilon member. “We’ve tried really hard to make this fun and exciting for all the people who come out for the event.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon packed the Hippodrome with a lineup of nine bands and singing groups, including Good Charlotte.

“We have been on the road for a really long time and just happened to have tonight off,” Good Charlotte lead vocalist Joel said. “We were really psyched to help these guys with this event.”

The band arrived at 8:30 p.m. Friday and bowled for a couple of hours with students before performing until midnight.

“We really hope to help out however we can,” Good Charlotte guitarist Benji said. “The guys who organized this were so into it and it’s obvious why.”

Good Charlotte has worked with many charity organizations since the band started a few years ago, including rape crisis groups, leukemia foundations and food bank organizations, band members said.

“We got in touch with Good Charlotte and when we found out they were willing to come it became obvious that the event would be a success,” Fadul said.

“We have had so much going on once we got back from break that this seemed to be just another thing,” Sigma Phi Epsilon president Joe DePola said. “But when (fraternity members) Rafid (Fadul) and Danny Varon presented the idea it became apparent that this would be our priority. The way everyone came together to pull this off was incredible.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon members were present throughout the 24-hour time fundraiser.

“Rafid (Fadul) and Danny (Varon) worked so hard for this to be a success that we wanted to make sure they knew how much we supported them,” said freshman Josh Levine, also a Sigma Phi Epsilon member.

With almost 200 students filling the Hippodrome at the beginning and end of the event, support for the Frank Foundation remained strong throughout the 24 hours.

“Every fraternity on campus has an annual community service event, and by the looks of it this is going to be ours,” DePaola said.

“We are so excited with the turnout and enthusiasm of the students here,” Fadul said. “The true heroes of this event are the brothers who put everything into this event and recognized the importance of helping this foundation.”

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