Friday, April 16, 2021

Fraternity donates locally

As students enter Plattsburgh State Clinton Dining Hall, they see cutouts of stained glass windows and cobwebs. As they walk down the stairs, students read the sign, “Wizards Only Beyond this Point.”

PSUC’s chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma and College Auxiliary Services hosted their annual Journey into Reading dinner April 6. This year’s theme: Harry Potter.

For dinner, Clinton served braised beef, Quidditch player pies, French onion soup and Yorkshire pudding.. They also served desserts that were Harry Potter themed, including chocolate frogs, butterbeer cupcakes and lightning rod cookies.

Besides coordinating the food with CAS, PSUC junior political science major and Sigma Tau Gamma member Mike Fish said their brothers put tablecloths over the railings, hung up torches, cobwebs and spiders and set up brick wallpaper to give a spooky vibe to the event.

“We try to make every year a book theme, so it coincides with reading because it’s an organization that helps promote literacy,” Fish said.

Fish said he was thankful for the opportunity to raise awareness toward Sigma Tau Gamma’s local philanthropy, Journey into Reading, which is an organization committed to preparing children for their futures by providing free books to children.

Every Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m., Sigma Tau Gamma reads to local children at the Champlain Centre mall in Plattsburgh. After a member of the fraternity reads a book, a child can take the book home free of charge.

Adults who attend the weekly event are given tips on how to read to their children and reasons why they should read to their children, according to the Journey into Reading official website.

Sig Tau Fundraiser

Sigma Tau Gamma member and sophomore political science major Mark Eckert dressed in a black robe, a long, white beard wig and a wizard’s hat just as Dumbledore would.

Fish said the fraternity chose the theme because it’s a childhood favorite. He said the fraternity had also done the theme about 10 years ago, so they wanted to bring it back again.

“With our budget, we bought Beats headphones, and we’re raffling those off. And all the money is going toward Journey to Reading,” Fish said.

Eckert said he encouraged students to donate money during the event.

“Every little kid should know how to read,” Eckert said.

Eckert said the more money they raise, the more they books they could buy for children.

PSUC freshman political science major Tim Verstandig was eating dinner during the event and said he enjoyed the decorations and thought the fraternity did a good job sticking to the theme.

He said he’s a huge Harry Potter fan, so he enjoyed the different elements incorporated into the event.

“I’m sure a lot of people grew up reading and watching Harry Potter, so it’s pretty cool,” Verstandig said.

He said he also appreciated that the event was toward a good cause.

“Every child should have the opportunity to read and learn,” Verstandig said. “They’re helping with that, and it’s great.”

Fish said he thought the event went well overall and was happy with the $230 they raised from the raffle. The raffle winner was Martin Torres.

“We’re thankful to be working with the school, and how helpful they are,” Fish said. “They’re open to working with student organizations, which is awesome.”

Email Kavita Singh at

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