Fraternity sells roses to raise funds for National Breast Cancer Foundation

Lovers can surprise their Valentine this Thursday with a timeless symbol of romance: a single red rose.

Daniel O'Connor/Staff Photographer Johnathan Mendez, left, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies, and Soud Twal, right, a junior majoring in economics, sell roses to Shelby Shaffie, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience.

This is the second year Sigma Beta Rho has held their “Sigma Beta Rose” event, which benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Last year, the event raised over $500 for the charity.

The fraternity is selling roses for $5 to be hand delivered by a brother on Valentine’s Day. Students can purchase a rose during tabling Tuesday between noon and 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Hinman Dining Hall.

Soud Twal, a member of Sigma Beta Rho and a junior majoring in economics, said he plans to spice up his rose deliveries by dressing in a suit and performing for the recipients.

“I’m gong to do a little salsa dance with the rose in my mouth,” Twal said.

The event is sponsored in part by David Whalen, owner of the restaurant Binghamton Hots in Downtown Binghamton.

“Obviously a lot of credit goes to the owner of Binghamton Hots for supporting us,” Twal said.

Students who purchase roses can attach a personal note and send them to anyone on or off campus. According to Twal, a number of students have also ordered roses to be sent to professors, teaching assistants, resident assistants and even themselves.

Twal said that advertising the rose sale has already helped to spread the Valentine’s Day spirit on campus.

“It’s a great way to bring out the spirit of love,” Twal said. “The majority of the people I’ve sold roses to weren’t even thinking about Valentine’s Day.”

Julius Simmons, a member of Sigma Beta Rho, said he is looking to spread the love this Valentine’s Day.

“Julius wants to make sure all the ladies out there get all the love that they possibly can,” said Simmons, a junior majoring in industrial systems engineering.

Sigma Beta Rho member Eric Chacko said the charitable aspect of the rose sale adds significance to a fun event.

“It’s a great way to support breast cancer research, also having a great time,” said Chacko, a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience.

He added, “P.S. I live at 5 Leroy … if anybody wants to send me a rose.”