Fundraiser for Virginia Tech

April 20, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720,

A California State University, Bakersfield fraternity is organizing an event to raise funds to aid the Virginia Tech University community following the massacre of 32 students and faculty at the campus in Blacksburg, Va., Monday.

Kappa Alpha Order felt the magnitude of the tragedy compelled an extraordinary effort, and is putting together the Auction for Healing, a special event with barbecue, live music and a silent auction to raise money to help with whatever is necessary at Virginia Tech.

Kappa Alpha member Josh Webb, a senior French major, said it was important to the members to do something. "I just remember (the massacre at) Columbine (High School in Colorado eight years ago) really, really well," he said. "Our fraternity was founded in Virginia. The shooting it scares me, and I would hope someone would do this for us if it happened here. Bakersfield can help out Blacksburg, Virginia."

Added freshman David Hall, the chapter's fundraising chairman: "This could happen to any of us, and we wanted to show that even though we're far away, we're supporting the people at Virginia Tech."

Webb and Hall emphasized this is not just a Kappa Alpha event. In fact they are recruiting other campus organizations to help out. So far CSUB sororities Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Sigma Sigma have signed on, along with the Associated Students, Inc.

"We want to generate any community involvement that we can get," Webb emphasized. "This is not just a college event. This is a community event. We're inviting anyone in the community to come help. Anyone wishing to help is more than welcome."

The event is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 4, in Runner Park, just west of the CSUB Student Union. Fraternity members are beginning to scour the community for silent auction donations."

"Anything will help," Hall said. "Nothing is too big or too small. And whatever you can give will be going to help people who are trying to deal with the trauma of this horrific event."

Webb said that the community is already beginning to respond, including donations from Sorella Ristorante Italiano, Frugatti's, Tailgater's, Lengthwise Brewing Co., 24-Hour Fitness, and Trader Joe's.

Also, CSUB's food service provider, Sodexho, will prepare the food for the event at cost, and food service director Bob McMicken will do the cooking. "The food service director will be the executive chef for the day," McMicken said. ASI President Ken Beurmann said ASI is paying for the food.

Those wishing to send a donation to the fund may send checks made payable to the Auction for Healing fund to CSUB Student Services, attention E.J. Callahan, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield 93311-1022.

Anyone wishing to help or make a donation may call Webb at (661) 444-5301, or Hall at (661) 428-5557.