Students filled the Jay Rehearsal Room on Saturday night to watch performances and raise money for Planned Parenthood. The event was hosted by Sigma Chi and open to anyone who wanted to perform.
“We do a lot of open mics for philanthropy, so this is like a go-to thing that really works for us,” said junior Alex Gallo, who organized the event.
Gallo opened the show with two songs that he played on an acoustic guitar. From there, 10 performances followed, including improvisational singing with a piano, poetry readings, stand-up comedy and musical theatre.
Participants were asked to sign up in advance, though there were also students from the audience who volunteered to perform individually at the end.
“We’ve done open mics in the past where it’s just like singing and it’s only a couple of people,” Gallo said. “We wanted to open it up to a bunch of different art forms with this specific event.”
Gallo also mentioned that even though Sigma Chi’s philanthropy typically goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, they chose to support Planned Parenthood this time. The fraternity has worked to raise money for the organization in the past as a way to reflect the interests of the Knox student body.
“At Knox, the people really know what philanthropies they’re about so we thought that it’d be good to tap into that for this one,” Gallo said. “I think that it’s a really great cause that deserves a lot of support. As a fraternity as well, it’s nice to show support for women and women’s health.”
Senior Madeline Simms, who read several poems focused on the neglect of women in classical mythology, also explained her support for Planned Parenthood.
“I think it’s a great organization that provides a lot of resources for family planning, not just abortion – which I do think is important – but also any kind of prenatal healthcare,” Simms said. “I think they do a lot of good work there.”
According to Gallo, Sigma Chi raised approximately $180 from both the event and the week of tabling that preceded it.
“We usually aim to raise about $100 to $150,” Gallo said about past events.
The attendance for the event also increased from open mics in the past.
“A lot of people showed up, way more than I expected,” Gallo said. “So that was really good. We did a good job with marketing this one. It was nice. The whole room was full so it was nice to see everyone, especially on such a busy night.”