Amnesty International hosts second annual Swing For a Cause event

The refugee fundraiser doubled as a fun event for students to attend with their families

Chase Isbell

Washington and Lee University’s chapter of Amnesty International kicked off Parents Weekend this past Friday, hosting its second annual Swing for a Cause.

Continuing in the tradition of the organization’s philanthropic activism, the event acted as both a fundraiser for refugees, and also a place for students to take their parents dancing.

“We started it last year as a way to engage the community in awareness raising for refugee efforts,” said Rossella Gabriele, ‘19, who is the co-president of Amnesty.

Hosted in the atrium of the Ruscio Center for Global Learning, participants were encouraged to provide donations at the door before stepping on the dance floor.

All proceeds go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its fund for the betterment of Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar.

The organization has agreed to match dollar for dollar the donations from the event.

However, Swing for a Cause serves a social function in“ the community as well.

“It’s a fun Parents Weekend event that people can bring their parents to and that the community can come out for,” Gabriele said.

The dancing and the Southern Inn catering created an environment prime for meeting up with friends and family. A number of students brought their families with members of all ages, from young siblings to grandparents.

“The swing dancing really got our attention,” Melinda Pickel, the aunt of Abby Miller, ‘21, said. “We’re here to just have a little fun.”

The swing dancing was a big draw for students as well. Gabby Jones, ‘22, expressed her new found love for swing dancing, but she also saw the importance of the event as well.

However, participants never forgot about the true cause behind the swing dancing.

“It’s good to have something to raise money like this because it is much more likely people will come and give to this [organization] than if they were just asking for donations,” Jones said.