The physical stress of a 90-mile relay run paid off on Friday when members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity presented a check for more than $40,000 to the University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In November, 72 Pike brothers teamed up with Ohio State University’s Pike chapter to participate in the annual Rivalry Run. The run began in Columbus, Ohio — where this season’s game against Ohio State was held — and ended in Ann Arbor with the runners carrying the game football the whole way.
Doreen McGuire, development events coordinator at the Cancer Center, praised Pike for raising the large amount of money. Though the center works with other student groups, McGuire said it rarely gets a donation of this magnitude.
“This is one of the largest gifts from a student group we’ve ever had,” McGuire said in an interview after Pike presented the check at the Cancer Center.
Karen Hammelef, director of the Cancer Center’s patient and family support services, said the $41,640 donation will be split among the patient and family sectors, with money going to support counseling, mental health services and chemotherapy education.
LSA sophomore Joey Ives, a member of Pike, said after the presentation that meeting the Cancer Center doctors and learning how the fraternity’s donation would be used affirmed the importance of the Rivalry Run.
“Today really brought life to the work we’re doing,” Ives said.
LSA sophomore Gene Taras, a Pike brother and co-director of the run, said the center’s affiliation with the University made the donation more personal for him.
“It means a lot more knowing it goes to specific people at the University where we study,” Taras said.
Pike members usually partner with the University’s chapter of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity (Fiji) for the run, but since Fiji participated in a different fundraiser this year, Pike decided to team up with OSU’s Pike chapter for the run.
To raise money for the Cancer Center, Pike got local sponsors and garnered donations from fraternity members’ friends and family.
Business junior Mike Adelman, a Pike member and co-director of the run, wrote in an e-mail interview that fundraising was more difficult this year because Pike didn’t have another fraternity on campus to rely on.
“We had to work much harder (because) we were doing it alone,” Adelman wrote.
Hammelef said she was impressed by Pike’s ability to raise more than $40,000 by itself.
“What’s impressive is that they did all this on their own with totally word-of-mouth marketing,” she said.