The Kappa Sigma fraternity at UND has raised more than $21,000 for veterans this year, including $8,650 through its annual Military Heroes Campaign “Concert in the Park,” held recently at University Park.
Funds will be donated to military charities through the fraternity’s endowment fund, according to Jeff Frane, the fraternity’s alumni president.
With the concert funds, raised through corporate sponsorship and admission fees, and proceeds from a car raffle last spring, the fraternity has made a $21,050 charitable donation to the 2021 Military Heroes Campaign, Frane said.
The Kappa Sigma fraternity, Delta-Mu chapter at UND, has raised more philanthropy dollars than any other Greek organization on campus, he said.
The fraternity raised $12,400 by raffling off a 2015 Ford Focus SE sedan in the spring, he said, noting that the raffle “was very well received.”
The Concert in the Park has been held annually in August since 2018, except last year, due to COVID. This year’s event, held Aug. 27, featured two bands, Silver Warehouse, a local group, and Mud Dogs, a Minneapolis-based band.
Silver Warehouse, which just released an album, also opened for Bryce Vine recently at the Alerus Center. One of the songs on the group’s album has received 1.3 million Spotify listens, Frane said. The band, formed by a group of UND students, drew an initial crowd who were there specifically to hear them at the Aug. 27 concert, he said.
Turnout for the concert this year was down from past years, due to an early-day rain, Frane said. “People may have thought it was canceled.” But it was still successful, he said, because of the funds raised for veterans.
More than 75 fraternity members staffed the event, led by Riley Sondrol, Buxton, N.D., the fraternity’s philanthropy chairman, who set up all the band and park accommodations, Frane said. “I could not have produced this event without Riley’s hard work and dedication.”
Corporate sponsors included the Brick and Barley Restaurant, Real Good Cookies, Deek’s Pizza, Greater Grand Forks Visitors Bureau, Gate City Bank, Betaseed, Home of Economy, Don’s ABC Seamless Siding, Vigen Construction, Butler Cat, United Valley Bank, John’s Upholstery Center, F-M Forklift, BedRock Motors, and Greenberg Realty.
The Brick and Barley provided the beverages and their food truck, “Real Good Cookies,” served cookies. Deek’s Pizza was “very generous” in donating pizza as needed throughout the event, Frane said. The fraternity members sold pizza by the slice.
The proceeds will become part of the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund, at the national level, from which military charities apply for funds. The fund is supporting the SEAL Legacy Foundation, Veterans Moving Forward, Homes For Our Troops, Veteran Success Resource Group, Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation, The Catch A Lift Fund, Minority Veterans of America, and True Patriot Love.
The Kappa Sigma Military Heroes campaign is committed to supporting ongoing care for veterans and their families, according to its website. Since 2007, the campaign has raised more than $2 million to aid veterans across North America.