Early snowfall Saturday takes its toll on events

Sunday, February 19, 2006

In Cape Girardeau, some events went on as planned and some were interrupted by 2.3 inches of snowfall that blanketed the area early Saturday morning.

One notable cancellation was the second annual "Homeless in the Park" event scheduled to be held by Alpha Delta Pi and Pi Kappa Alpha Greek organizations of Southeast Missouri State University. The event which would have included 150 men and women spending the day without food and water in an effort to raise money for the Salvation Army was canceled due to the snow.

"It was snowing last night so we didn't know if we were going to do it, and when we woke up this morning the conditions were a little horrendous so we decided to call it off," said Pi Kappa Alpha president Brent Jackson.

In short, the day was too cold to be homeless.

"I don't want to sound like that, but it really was," said Jackson.

Participants would have stayed in Capaha Park for 24 hours starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. The only form of warmth available would be fires in the park barbecue pits. Students hope to reschedule the event in the next couple of weeks when they will look to meet their goal of raising $750 for the cause.

One event that did go on, albeit with some absences, was the eighth annual Clark Terry Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival on the Southeast campus.

High school and junior high jazz bands from all over eastern Missouri were scheduled to perform and participate in clinics on improvisation techniques with guest artist Jim Pisano from the University of Idaho.

Bands from Dexter, Poplar Bluff, New Madrid and DeSoto were unable to attend because of heavier snowfall in the southern part of the state.

Bands from Sullivan, Fox, Cape Girardeau and Marion, Ill., however, braved the conditions and played.

"Despite the snow, we had four bands show up today. So the show must go on," said organizer Bob Conger, who is an assistant professor of music at Southeast. "We've been going all day, and the bands that could make it they're just soaking it up, the chance to work with someone like Jim [Pisano] and add some new techniques is just so special. Even the kids that played this morning are sticking around, and they're just watching him like hawks." Conger said he never considered canceling the event.

"It's like if you were an artist and had the chance to see Salvador Dali. You'd jump at the chance," Conger said. "That's what it's like for these kids to work with Jim. He's showing them things they can't see anywhere else, and you'll see their jaws just drop when he performs."

Pisano, who plays tenor saxophone, also sat in with Southeast student bands Jazz Lab and Studio Jazz for an 8 p.m. concert.

Another event that felt the impact of inclement weather was the Skyline KGMO Sports Show at the Show Me Center. The show -- which runs through today and displays boats, pontoons, fishing seminars, outdoor gear and RV campers -- reported 50 to 70 percent of the crowd it had expected through midday Saturday.

"With any trade show we're kind of at the beck and call of the weather," said Show Me Center marketing director Brad Gentry. "You kind of look for a colder cloudy day so people don't want to be outside and come lounge in the Show Me Center. So it's unfortunate that it snowed, but like I say, you can't control the weather."

tgreaney@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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