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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Music From the Heart: Stony Brook Students Rock for a Cure

Picture this: a rock concert; a miniature mosh pit; a swarm of firefly-green glow sticks bending in the crowd; a Wednesday night; a girl whipping her hair back and forth on guy’s shoulders; s slow, in-sync round of applause; a few hundred Stony Brook students rocking out and a child, a child who needs open heart surgery.

On March 2, the brothers of the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity hosted “Rock for a Cure,” a concert in which 100% of the proceeds went to Save A Child’s Heart, or SACH for short. SACH is an Israeli-based humanitarian project whose primary slogan is “To save a child is to save the world.” According to its website, its mission is to “…improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries.”

According to AEPi, The goal of the concert was to raise $10,000. This hefty amount would lead to the heart surgery of one child. Ultimately, AEPi raised $1000, but $600 of those dollars went back to the Undergraduate Student Government for providing the lighting and equipment; only $400 actually went to the heart surgery.

According to Allen Vilensky, a 20-year-old health sciences major from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, the idea for this event was sparked in mid-December.  As current Vice President of AEPi, he was one of the most influential organizers of the event. He was aided by fellow fraternity brothers Jon Nuszen and Mike Simany.

Vilensky said that his fraternity picked the concert because they wanted an event that would best connect with students.

“At the end of the day, we’re all people trying to make this campus better,” he said.

He explained that AEPi advertised the event through Facebook, with fliers and word of mouth. They also met with Kimberly Stokely, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, numerous times to further prepare for the event.

“Kim [Stokely] helped us make banners,” Vilensky said.  “We met twice a week for at least a month. She helped us organize everything.”

Stokely, who was also in attendance and rocking out to the music, called it a “really great, safe and social event.”

AEPi hosted several bands that night: The Energy, Poofy and the Bus Boys and Peyote were all in attendance. The Energy has performed on MTV, and Peyote, a nickname given to one AEPi brother by the fraternity, had their debut performance that night.

The wave of heads bobbing in unison indicated that students had a great time.

Maria Barbaccia, a 21-year-old health sciences major and rock concert lover, said she thought the event had a lot to say about Greek life on campus. A member of the Sigma Iota Sigma sorority, she said, “People in Greek life don’t just drink and party. We’re real people with real concerns.”

For $5, Barbaccia and roughly 200 others attended this Stony Brook concert. For another dollar, they were also able to purchase a raffle ticket that could win them a piece of artwork that several artists in the neighborhood donate to the show to help raise more money

Andrew Hayman, a 21-year-old economics major and AEPi member said, “We have two sides. The fun side and the side that wants to make a difference.”

Hayman explained that AEPi is nationally known for its charity events.  “If we could change one person’s life, it would be the best thing in the world,” he said.


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