Bands, raffles, games to highlight Suitcase Party

Rani Gupta

Students at tonight’s Suitcase Party should have their sunblock and Mickey Mouse ears close at hand.

Those in attendance will have the chance to win about 80 raffle prizes, including seven trips. One winner will leave for Orlando shortly after the party, which runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Patten Gym.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $6 at The Rock and at Norris or at the door for $8. Raffle tickets will be sold at the party for $1.

This year’s Suitcase Party is offering more trips than ever before, sending winners to Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Myrtle Beach, S.C. A vacation to Europe will be open only to seniors.

The proceeds of the annual philanthropy event will be donated this year to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which helps seriously ill children by granting wishes, providing entertainment and building playrooms in hospitals.

Board members chose the charity because they felt students would be emotionally affected by the terminally ill children, said Kelly Corcoran, executive co-chairwoman and a Speech senior.

“We thought it would motivate our community and campus to get involved,” said Marty Christensen, executive co-chairman and a Weinberg senior.

The total raised for the Starlight Foundation will be announced near the end of the night, right before the trip winners are announced.

According to Corcoran, the group hopes to surpass last year’s total of $23,200.

Pineapple Grass Bracelets, a Dave Matthews cover band made up of Northwestern alumni, will be performing its last show.

Also playing will be the rock band Tippler Contingent, which is made up of current and former NU students, and headliner Tim Mahoney, a rock musician from Minnesota. The party also will feature games and food from local restaurants.

Suitcase Party members are selling paper stars at The Rock. Students can write messages on the stars, which will become part of the party decorations.

The proceeds from the stars will be used to grant the wish of a 10-year-old girl to go to Walt Disney World, said Terri Fisher, party co-chairwoman.

She said because the stars focus on one specific child, they let the group see “what we’ve been working for and how important this foundation is.”

“It’s not on such a big scale, where you’re raising money for Suitcase Party,” said Fisher, a Weinberg sophomore. “You’re seeing it actually work.”

At The Rock, students also can donate money on the behalf of several faculty members and student group leaders. The person who raises the most money will get a pie in the face during the party.

“It should raise a lot of money. We have a lot of unpopular people this year,” said Weinberg senior Elizabeth Glasgow, party co-chairwoman.

Suitcase Party has hosted several events over the past two weeks to raise both money and awareness.

Agreements with Papa John’s Pizza, Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Burger King netted the group a portion of profits when customers mentioned Suitcase Party. And at a Saturday event at Hi-Tops Bar, the group received all the money from the cover charge.

On Saturday a small group of students volunteered at Children’s Memorial Hospital, where they made Easter decorations and played with the children.

“(The children) were sick, but they were happy,” said Medill freshman Jessi Braverman.