Kent State University raise $30,000 at Songfest

“Almost $30,000 raised for Love 146 at this year’s Songfest”
Written by Aubrey Johnson, Republished from Kentwired.com

Chants, laughter and loud music filled the Student Center’s Ballroom Friday night, while an overwhelming, large audience anticipated each skit.

This year’s annual Songfest brought cavemen dancers, soldiers, acrobats, living dolls, cannibals and more to the stage to perform skits that all centered around a specific theme.

Fraternities and sororities split into teams to show off their performances to about 2,000 spectators and five judges. Among the judges, sat Rob Morris, president and cofounder of Love146, the nonprofit organization Songfest benefitted this year.

Love 146 works to abolish child sex slavery and exploitation through prevention and aftercare.

A total of $29,368.54 was raised for the organization, which Morris said will help fund their prevention and aftercare programs.

“We want to prevent trafficking from happening, so we have education programs in place in Asia and Europe, as well as the U.S.,” he said.

Mathew Miller, national networks coordinator of the organization, said they have a house in the Philippines called a “round home” where survivors of trafficking get care and protection.

“You can’t take a child out of trafficking unless you have some place to put them,” Miller said.

He said the organization was largely founded on the idea that more kids could be rescued if there was more space, “and we can do that, so we did.”

Morris said he was speechless when he heard that almost $30,000 was raised for the Love146.

“This is by far the biggest check we’ve ever received from a university and specifically the Greek community,” he said.

Morris and Miller agreed that the level of engagement and enthusiasm they saw in each of the performances was “shocking.”

“Seriously, that is beyond our wildest expectations,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing — we’re blown away.”

Leslie Schurman, Pan-Hellenic council vice president of philanthropy and community service, who planned the event, said she was also blown away by the performances and the amount raised.

“It was amazing,” Schurman said. “I was so excited.”

Caitlin Craig, sophomore fashion merchandising major, said it was her first Songfest, and she thought everyone did really well.

“I think it’s a great cause — everyone should learn about it, and I think this is a great way to hear about it and get the word out,” Craig said.

After the Ballroom emptied out, Morris, Miller, Schurman and others stayed to talk about the success of the night.

Morris said the event went way beyond what he was expecting, and he didn’t expect to be so moved.

“This means a lot, not just to us but obviously the kids we work with, as well,” Morris said. “I’m undone — I really am.”

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