Sam-Bam comes to Old Town

Sep 112005
Authors: Katrina Tamminga

An alcohol-free concert in memory of Samantha Spady drew local residents to Old Town Square on Sunday afternoon, promoting alcohol safety.

The concert for Spady, who died of alcohol poisoning last year in the Sigma Pi Fraternity house, came just days after eight separate fraternities and sororities – declared dry following Spady's death – were punished for alcohol violations.

"We are continuing to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol," said sophomore speech communication major Kristian Roggensack, member of Ace of Spades. "It's been a year since Sam died but we want people to remember her and keep their friends and themselves safe. Awareness is the key to staying safe."

Spady memorial groups Ace of Spades and the Sam Spady Foundation organized the concert, dubbed "Sam Bam Jam" after Spady's nickname. The show featured the music of Steve Crenshaw and the Blues Shop and Something Underground.

"Sam Bam Jam is a welcome back to school event," said Darren Pettapiece, who was president of Sigma Pi when Spady died in the fraternity's house. "We want to encourage students to have a fun and safe year. We also want to show the community that things are changing around here. The drinking culture on the CSU campus is changing because people now know how severe the consequences can be."

Bryce Ballew, a former Sigma Pi member, said the main aim for the concert was to have a good time while making the public aware of the dangers of alcohol.

"We want to make our statement as public as possible and do it in a fun way," Ballew said. "Good music on a beautiful day is a great way to do this."

Carissa Skeen, Spady's cousin, said she enjoyed the music and the idea of an alcohol-free concert.

"I think it is a great cause," Skeen said. "It's good that such positive things have come out of tragedy."

Last week, CSU revoked its recognition of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and handed down suspensions and probations to several other Greek houses for engaging in a "rise and ralph" morning drinking ritual.

Jason Schneider, president of Pi Kappa Alpha, said his house does and will continue to promote Ace of Spades and the Sam Spady Foundation.

"We've always been in support of Ace of Spades and the Sam Spady Foundation," Schneider said. "We are here supporting a good cause and showing the community that we do care and that we are not a bad organization. We are enjoying ourselves and having a good time without alcohol."

Ryan Ledden, the chairman of board for the Sam Spady Foundation, said although his organization is working hard to prevent such things from happening, they understand it is impossible to eliminate alcohol use and abuse.

"Drinking isn't one of those things that is going to go away," Ledden said. "We are not here to point fingers. We just hope that if students do choose to drink, they will do so in a responsible way."

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