Kent State’s Fraternity and Sorority Life to Raise Money for Local Community Center With Songfest

Songfest, the annual philanthropic event hosted by Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council at Kent State University, will be held on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m. in the MAC Center and will benefit the King Kennedy Community Center located in Ravenna.

This event is open to the public. Tickets for general admission will be sold on Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first floor the Kent Student Center lobby. Tickets also will be available at the door. Tickets are $10.

Songfest is the culmination of fundraising efforts by Kent State’s Fraternity and Sorority Life. The fraternities and sororities were split into seven teams based on chapter size. The teams will each perform a skit incorporating one of the three pillars the center stands for: mentorship, education and community.

In previous years, the fundraiser had benefited national non-profits, but this year, the council members were asked to look closer to home.

Last spring, Peter Mahoney, former Kent State assistant football coach and special coordinator for the Center for Student Involvement, approached Keri Richmond and Cliff Glowacki, the vice presidents of philanthropy and community service for Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council, respectively. According to Richmond, Mahoney explained the center’s needs, and she and Glowacki explored the possibility.

“When we started to do research on the King Kennedy Center, we realized Greek students helped start it, and that Kent State had invested in it so much back in the 1970s,” Richmond said. “It only made sense for us to help them when they’re in such a time of need, and they’re about ready to close because they don’t have the resources.”

The King Kennedy Community Center was founded to be a safe haven for the community that was facing high crime rates in the 1970s.

“When the King Kennedy Center was built in the 1970s, it was because that area was named one of the worst rural areas in America,” Richmond said.

The center offers tutoring, meal assistance, health fairs and community-wide events.

Last year, Songfest raised $31,000 for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), and this year, Richmond said the goal is $70,000.

“It’s not going to be easy, and we know that, but we’re trying to do a lot of community outreach because it is something local,” Richmond said. “Hopefully, the community realizes these are kids in your own backyard; these are kids your kid might go to school with.”

The teams are selling paper “helping hands” to local businesses and schools. These hands cost a dollar and show support for the King Kennedy Community Center. The hands will be collected and made into a banner that will be hung at Songfest.

“Community members and businesses are also able to buy tickets for families of the King Kennedy Center, so they can attend the event,” said Kristan Dolan, marketing coordinator for Kent State’s Center for Student Involvement.

For more information or to make a donation to this event, visit

For more information about Kent State’s Fraternity and Sorority Life, visit

Media Contact: Keri Richmond,, (574) 261-0954

POSTED: Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 4:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 4:13pm
Katie Smith