Monday, July 26, 2021

Students pair up for developmental delays

Talented performers will be competing for the win at the Duet for Disabilities event Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the  Angell College Center Ballrooms hosted by the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. There will be singing, dancing and maybe even some pogo-stick jump roping.

Pi Kappa Phi President Mike McKenna said the event is for their philanthropy,  The Ability Experience.

He said the organization is “primarily focused on helping individuals with physical and mental developmental delays.”

80 percent of the proceeds go directly to The Ability Experience and the other 20 percent go to the winning duet. Tickets are available for $3 at the ACC desk or online.

A panel of judges will determine which performance will take home the win. “The panel will be Ed Miller, who is our chapter adviser, Allison Swick, who is the fraternity/sorority director, and Nancy Perry, who is our academic adviser,” McKenna said.

This will be the second time Pi Kappa Phi is hosting the event. Brendon Leslie is the chairman of the Duet for Disabilites show. He is planning the event and running the show. As a broadcast journalism and audio/radio production major, he is not out of his element.

Leslie said he began planning this event last semester. “There’s a lot that goes into it, like making sure I have enough acts,” he said.

Derrick Ruiz is the community service and philanthropy chair for the fraternity. “My contribution is getting the people from ARC (Advocacy and Resource Center) in Plattsburgh to come,” he said. They will be there at a table informing the guests about what they provide to the community.

McKenna said last year’s success was adequate, as they raised close to $500.  “Last year was primarily open to just Greek life, but this year we’re opening it up to everybody on campus,” he said.

This year, performances include dancing, singing and less common talents. “One sorority is going to be doing a pogo stick jump rope, which I am interested in seeing,” Leslie said.

Ruiz said everyone looking forward to the show and seeing all the different talents.

“There are other fundraising events that we do, but this is one of our really big ones. Each chapter of Pi Kappa Phi has one of those defining events that people look forward to and we’re hoping that this becomes ours,” Ruiz said.

“It’s one of the closest things you’ll get to a talent show on campus. Why not watch other people perform for you? And it makes you feel good knowing that your money is going to someplace good,” Ruiz said.

Email Jessica Miles at

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