WRITTEN BY NICOLAS FERNANDES
Tau Kappa Epsilon’s (TKE) St. Francis College chapter will hold their third annual Seesaw for a Chance between October 21 and 23, an event in which students, faculty and staff seesaw in front of the college for more than 50 hours to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Earlier this year, the international fraternity pledged $2.6 million to St. Jude over six years, with each of the 247 chapters contributing a percentage. TKE chapters have already raised $550,000 of which St. Francis College was the sixth highest fundraising chapter, TKE Chief Information Officer Alex Baker said.
Before the pledge, the fraternity committed to $1 million over five years in 2011, but achieved its goal one year early, Baker said.
The hospital treats children with cancer, blood disorders and other life-threatening diseases at no charge.
Gregory Cronen – TKE’s chapter president during the 2014 – 2015 academic year – came up with the idea of a seesaw fundraiser to symbolize childhood innocence in an urban setting. Cronen’s debut event raised about $10,000 for the children’s hospital.
In 2015, the fundraiser was run by TKE’s next president David Datzkow, who raised more than $13,000 by the end of the three-day event.
“I was ecstatic with last year’s turnout, but there is constantly area for improvement,” this year’s TKE President Frank Armano told SFC Today. “I want Seesaw to be an event the whole community becomes excited for.”
Armano expects to see an even more successful turnout this year, as he is working on publicizing it and getting the college’s sororities more involved.
“Expect to see more sororities participating in the event, rather than stop by as a visitor,” Armano said.
TKE’s mission is to spread charity and love, which it has been doing through its partnership with St. Jude.
“St. Jude treats 8,000 kids with childhood cancer annually for absolutely no charge,” Datzkow said after raising $13,000 last year. “They do so based on the idea that ‘no child should die in the dawn of life’ which is a dream I believe we can all get behind.”
The fundraiser will bring together Armano’s presidency, even though it will be held in the second month of the academic year, he explained.
“The idea that the amount of money we raise can help a child survive is a true blessing,” Armano added.
Seesaw for a Chance will commence on Friday, October 21 at 12 pm and be held until Sunday, October 23 at 3 pm.