May 052003
Authors: Willow Welter

A 90-year-old Loveland woman and her poodle will be able to go the park this summer, Jerry’s Kids will have $450 more to help kids with muscular dystrophy and Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital has gained $75,000, all thanks to CSU fraternities’ and sororities’ work this semester.

Jeri Cunagin needed a ramp for her electric scooter so she could easily leave her home with her poodle Mitzu this summer to “watch squirrels and birds in the park.” CSU’s Pi Kappa Phi members volunteered for the task.

“I’m 90 years old and I have no family,” Cunagin said. “I live alone with my little dog. The boys were just wonderful.”

Fifteen members of Pi Kappa Phi spent April 26 building Cunagin’s wheelchair ramp, doing home repairs for her and constructing an additional ramp for arthritic Mitzu to climb up on the bed with her master.

“She’s slept in my bed her whole life,” Cunagin said. “The ramp helps her get in easier.”

Cunagin said the fraternity members spent 11 hours at her home, during which time they also turned her mattress, changed her linens and brought her a hamburger and French fries.

“We have the opportunity to help others,” said Adam Timmons, the philanthropy and community service chairman of Pi Kappa Phi’s Zeta Phi chapter. “We have guys who are like 18 to 22 years old, able bodied and have a lot of extra time. It just takes a little organization to get out there in the community.”

“You’ll never even know how much they helped me,” said Cunagin, who worked as a counselor until 5 years ago. “They also came into my house and did all my little repairs. My handyman said my ceiling couldn’t be repaired, but the boys brought some tools and fixed it.”

Cunagin provides one example of how sorority and fraternity members at CSU have impacted community members this past semester through philanthropy projects.

“I think giving back to the community is an important part of being in a group like that,” said Amber Campbell, a member of CSU’s professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi.

Alpha Kappa Psi recently hosted Kickball for Charity, an event that raised $450 for Jerry’s Kids, said Andrea Matich, head of community service for the business fraternity. She added that Alpha Kappa Psi plans to host another Kickball for Charity in the fall, in addition to the food-collecting event Cans Around the Oval and Halloween event Treatsylvania.

Rob Schneider, director of community service for the Inter-Fraternity Council and member of Pi Kappa Phi, said over 200 Greeks put in over 800 hours of community service the past semester.

“I think we have the opportunity and ability to really make a tangible difference in Fort Collins,” Schneider said.

CSUnity, a community service event designed to bridge the gap between CSU students and the community, was also sponsored by the IFC, Schneider said.

Timmons said Pi Kappa Phi also participated in “Up ‘Till Dawn,” an all-night fundraiser where the fraternity members stayed up all night to raise a total of $75,000 for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Timmons said he thinks Greeks at CSU should host more “visible events” in the future, where more people can see what they are doing and other chapters can get involved in the community service.

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