Arethusa dinner benefits Webster victims

The sisters of Sigma Gamma Phi, also known as Arethusa, hosted a spaghetti dinner on Jan. 26 for the families affected by the December shooting in Webster, N.Y.

According to Arethusa’s recording secretary junior Miranda Mucci, the sisters hosted the dinner at the InterFaith Center and provided attendees with spaghetti, breadsticks, salad and cookies purchased with a grant from Campus Auxiliary Services.

Mucci said that the dinner was originally for a scholarship fund in memory of a sister who passed away two years ago. After the shooting, however, Mucci said she was inspired to change the purpose of the event.

“Probably 75 percent of the sisters in our sorority are from the Buffalo and Rochester areas,” Mucci said. “Once we heard about what happened, we said ‘the fund for the scholarship can wait, the [Webster shooting] is more important.”

“It’s especially important since a few of our sisters are from Webster and the surrounding areas, so it kind of hits close to home,” Mucci added.

Arethusa president senior Caroline Schwartz said she was glad that Mucci suggested the idea of giving the proceeds to the victims of the Webster shooting.

“I know three members of that [fire] department as well as another family that was affected by the shooting, so I was glad that we could support the department,” she said. “We want to show our support for such a close town and also show that something like this can have … some positive things that come from it.”

Mucci said that the proceeds from the dinner will go to the Webster Fire Department, which has started a fund for the four families of the firefighters involved. The sisters of Arethusa will also look into donating part of the proceeds directly to the families whose homes were affected by the fires.

“Whatever [money] we can make can go to whoever we can help,” Mucci said.

Students who attended the event also said that they were glad that the proceeds would be benefiting a local cause.

“I was really glad to see someone doing things about this and making an effort to donate to the families,” said junior Melanie Cerra, from Webster.

“I think a lot of the reason people wanted to help [in Webster] was because it happened on Christmas Eve,” junior Bridget Greene said. “Finding out about what happened … on Christmas Eve … made me extra sad for those who lost someone.”

Mucci added that Arethusa will be reaching out to alumnae to add to the donation. The sisters raised $320 through the spaghetti dinner.