Pi Kappa Phi raises funds for disabled

Hundreds of students from 11 TCU sororities showed their support for Pi Kappa Phi’s cause by participating in activities throughout the week as part of the fraternity’s philanthropy event, Push Week.The event aims to raise awareness and funds for people with disabilities.

Matt Kiesel, a senior finance and accounting major, said the event extends support to the fraternity’s national philanthropy, Push America, which is a national nonprofit organization devoted to helping disabled people. It was founded by Pi Kapp in 1977.

“Pi Kappa Phi is the only fraternity in the nation to have its own philanthropy,” said Kiesel, the president of the fraternity.

Kiesel said sororities support the cause by competing in Push Week, which includes a fundraising event and games.

Ryan Huey, a junior biology major, said the money raised went directly to Push America. Push America, also gives an amount of the funds collected to the TCU KinderFrogs school. He said that amount is decided by Push America.

Huey, chairperson for the philanthropy, said last year KinderFrogs received $2,000 from Push America. Pi Kapp members have been helping KinderFrogs for almost eight years now, he said.

Push Week was a three-day event during which the fraternity had penny jars for each sorority to donate set up in different locations on campus, Huey said.

The sororities also receive points for showing their support in the week’s activities. He said the sorority with the most points received trophies at the end of the entire event, Huey said.

On Monday, the sororities ate and gathered at Potbelly Sandwich Works to support the restaurant’s offer to donate 50 percent of profits made from food purchased by TCU students that day between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to Pi Kapp’s fundraising event.

Wheelchair decoration and banner contests were organized Tuesday at the rose garden in Worth Hills. During the event, sororities decorated wheelchairs and banners while chanting songs in support of Pi Kapp. A group of five panelists, including Kiesel and Huey, judged the event.

Push Week ended Wednesday with the wheelchair basketball competition and empathy race.

Wheelchair basketball players dragged their legs to operate the wheelchair and had to attempt to make baskets from their seats.

Huey said the games were designed to give participants an idea of how hard it is to be disabled. At the same time, it is fun and different for the students, he added.

Amy Arsenault, a freshman political science major who participated in the empathy race for Delta Gamma, said it was not an easy task.

Arsenault said she was blindfolded and had to follow a certain path based on vocal directions given by her teammate.

Another game involved buttoning a shirt with three fingers taped together, which was done to give students an idea of what people with cerebral palsy have to go through.

Janay Smythe, a senior middle school education major and an Alpha Delta Pi member who had volunteered at KinderFrogs, said most people didn’t know what Push Week and KinderFrogs were, and this was her way of raising awareness.