This was not your typical frat party. Nearly 500 students gathered in the backyard of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house Saturday, forming a tight crowd to fend off cold weather and dancing with the music of the first “Pi Bash” in an effort to raise money for a good cause. The fraternity is donating the proceeds from the event to Mott Children’s Hospital and breast cancer research at the University. This year’s first “Pi Bash” raised more than $1,000 and fraternity members said they hope to make the concert an annual event.

“We covered our costs early in the day and hopefully we will have a lot to give away,” LSA sophomore and fraternity President Ron Alkalay said.

Three bands entertained the crowd standing near the small stage. The show featured Granian, a band touring small venues and colleges throughout he country. They were joined by East Lansing native Four Days and Kalamazoo’s The Transfer. The music could be heard from a block away and six neighbors called the Ann Arbor Police Department complaining of noise. However, officers did not attempt to shut down the event and only asked them to keep the volume a little lower.

LSA freshman Dave Lapedis, an AEPi brother and event organizer, said the police “were very accommodating.”

AAPD spokesman Sgt. Michael Logghe said it is the officer’s discretion to act on noise violations. The event was kept in order by orange construction fence surrounding the yard and several University athletes serving as security.

The idea to hold a benefit concert came from Granian interest in returning to Ann Arbor after an appearance in December. Lapedis also said they wanted to do something for the community bigger than volunteering for a day.

The fraternity is hoping the event will help paint a new face on their house and the Greek system, which often receives more attention for their misconduct than their good deeds.

“People don’t often look at the Greek community as being a good thing for the surrounding community,” Lapedis said.

The AEPi brothers hope to prove that fraternities can have a positive impact. “If I am going to be involved in it, I want to make a good statement. We don’t get drunk and party all the time,” Lapedis said.

Alkalay said AEPi members are trying to disassociate from the former fraternity that had its charter revoked. They are attempting to rebuild and show that this is a new group of members. “We are capable guys who are going to be successful in the future,” Lapedis said. “We wanted to show that we could donate a lot of money and still have a lot of fun.”

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