Sigma Alpha Epsilon members Michael Carter and Ned Nelson participate in their Charity Bowl of 2014. This year their chapter will be hosting the SAE fraternity Civijam for the Abbie Roger Civitan Camp at the Intramural Fields. -Mary Sergeant/Archive
On Sunday, April 19, the Mississippi Sigma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) will host its first CiviJam festival to benefit the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp.
Not only are students invited to attend the event, which features live music, but SAE has also invited civitan campers and their families. For 50 years, the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp has worked to create a fun and caring environment for children and adults with cognitive disabilities. They host camps in both the summer and the fall.
In years past, the fraternity hosted Charity Bowl, a full-contact football game played between SAE and another Interfraternity Council (IFC) chapter. But this year, the chapter decided to add a new element to kickoff its philanthropy week.
Junior marketing major Blake Coco has spent a lot of time working with the Civitan Camp both through SAE and in his own time.
“Last summer, I was lucky enough to visit the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp,” Coco said. “The experience was indescribable. The goal of CiviJam is to create an environment similar, where judgment does not exist and everyone is viewed equal.”
According to the camp’s website, its goal is to assist every camp participant, no matter his or her disability, to have a safe, fun camping experience.
Freshman marketing major Samuel Street worked with Coco to plan the event. His goal for CiviJam is for the USM Greek community to think of this event and the civitan campers rather than thinking about the actual football game.
According to chapter president and junior construction engineering technology major Daniel Honore, the chapter donated over $75,000 to the Civitan Camp in the last 16 years.
“As years keep passing, we try our hardest to donate more of our time to the cause,” he said.
Senior marketing major Sam Newman will perform, along with senior entertainment industry major Gary Stanton.
“We enjoy playing at these types of events in hopes that our performance will generate further energy to gravitate people towards participating,” he said. “More participation means more money being donated to whatever the noble cause might be.”
The two entertainers are most excited to play for and sing along with the campers who will be in attendance.
“I have never done anything in affiliation with Civitan Camp, but I know many kind, giving souls who have,” Newman said. “Aside from the men of SAE, there are a ton of folks in the Southern Miss family who have dedicated their time and efforts to this cause. They’re the real MVPs.”
CiviJam will take place from noon until 4 p.m. at the USM Intramural Fields. Tickets for jambalaya are $5 pre-sale and $7 at the event.
“All of us at SAE are very passionate when it comes to the Civitan Camp and we are making this event as fun as we possibly can, while supporting an amazing cause,” Street said. “We hope that this year will be a success and lead to even more success in the future for the Civitan Camp and our chapter.”
SAE will also host a profit share at Raising Canes April 20 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and will host its annual Charity Bowl football game on April 24 at M.M. Roberts Stadium at 5 p.m.
For more information on the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp, visit www.abbierogerscivitancamp.org.