PAAR raises funds for CHaD event| 10/7/12 10:00pm
Philanthropic All American Rush, the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council are collaborating with the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth in its annual CHaD Hero Half Marathon and Ripcord 5K that will take place on Oct. 21. Members of Dartmouth's Greek community and Upper Valley residents will participate in a half-marathon, 5K walk or 5K run with all proceeds donated to CHaD, according to Inter-Fraternity Council President Tim Brown '13.
This year's competition between Greek houses to raise money will principally focus on the CHaD half-marathon, and all funds raised by the Greek houses will be donated directly to CHaD, PAAR founder and chairman Matt Lu '13 said. Prizes will be awarded to the winning houses and individuals from the $14,000 raised as seed money last year by Lu. Prizes, ranging from cash to a round trip plane ticket from Boston to Miami during spring break, will be awarded for categories including most funds raised by a house, most creative fundraising idea by a Greek house and funds raised individually.
While the total donations to CHaD have reached $248,105, according to the CHaD website, vice director of communications for PAAR Luke Suydam '14 said that Dartmouth Greek houses have raised between $5,000 and $10,000 to date. As PAAR coordinator, Suydam acts as a liaison between PAAR representatives within each Greek house and PAAR to encourage individual houses to engage participants in fundraising efforts.
Twenty-two Greek houses eight sororities and 14 fraternities have signed up for the competition to fundraise for CHaD. Donations will likely increase now that official recruitment is over and the marathon date is two weeks away, Suydam said.
Vice director of communications for PAAR Ethan Portnoy '14 said PAAR has personally reached out to influential members of each Greek house to encourage participation by emphasizing the opportunity the competition presents for each house to introduce philanthropic values to new members.
Both Suydam and Portnoy said that the CHaD half-marathon is an excellent "unifying experience," which each house can use to incorporate philanthropy as an integral part of its community.
"The PAAR-CHaD collaboration is a great way to show new members that philanthropy is a huge part of Greek life at Dartmouth," Suydam said. "By organizing events, individual members of the Greek community can take initiative, be proud of their houses and raise as much money as possible for CHaD and the Dartmouth community they are part of."
The CHaD Hero Half Marathon exists in partnership with Positive Tracks, a national organization that encourages participants under the age of 23 to use their imagination and skills to fundraise creatively, according to Positive Tracks founder and CHaD half-marathon co-organizer Nini Meyer. Positive Tracks, a national NGO, will double every dollar PAAR raises to benefit CHaD.
"The collaboration with Positive Tracks will have a positive impact because the fact that they have vowed to double every single dollar we raise as a Greek system is huge and makes this year's event that much bigger," Suydam said.
In addition, Positive Tracks has offered Dartmouth students an exclusive prize, Meyer said. The Dartmouth team captain or PAAR coordinator whose team raises the most money a minimum of $3,000 by midnight on Oct. 11 wins a place in the bike or run component of the Dempsey Challenge, which gives participants the opportunity to meet Patrick Dempsey, Positive Tracks' spokesperson, and attend Dempsey's VIP Champions for Hope Celebration.
Meyer said that collaborating with the Dartmouth Greek system is key to the success of CHaD's fundraising goal. Dartmouth students will bring "energy, fun, compassion and festivity to the event," she said.
"I'm beyond impressed by students' enthusiasm to connect to the Upper Valley community, particularly student leaders [Brown] and [Lu]," Meyer said. "With the matching dollar incentive, Positive Tracks gives students the power to make a real impact on an essential resource right in their own backyard."
The Class of 1969 has once again pledged $2,500 to PAAR's fundraising effort for CHaD in order to show students the importance of alumni philanthropy and support for the College, according to Lu.
The competition is typically held in August, but that limited Dartmouth students' participation to those in residence for sophomore summer, according to Meyer.
Panhell President Sarah Wildes '13 said that the shift to Fall term will facilitate greater student participation.
"Individual sororities are taking fundraising initiative, and I'm excited that so many students can participate in the CHaD half," Wildes said. "Everyone is excited to fundraise and make a contribution to such a worthy cause."
The half-marathon has a superhero theme, which encourages participants to dress like heroes in recognition of their children, friends, family and medical support staff, Brown said.
"The symbolism is important, [as] the event aims to honor the daily heroes," he said. "We all recognize how lucky we are to be at Dartmouth, and this is an incredible way to mobilize Dartmouth Greek community around a worthy cause and directly give back to our immediate community by helping children who are facing immense challenges." PAAR, established in 2011, is a student-run organization that hosts an annual fundraising competition between Greek houses to "foster bonding within and amongst Greek houses through community service participation and to harness the competitive spirit of Greek recruitment to reposition philanthropy as a major pillar of the Greek system," Lu said.
Lu said that PAAR aims to show that a Dartmouth education fosters a service ethic and a sense of responsibility to the community.
The inaugural Philanthropic All American Rush fundraising competition that took place between Greek organizations last fall sought to promote philanthropy within the Greek community by devising innovative and creative fundraising strategies on campus. PAAR raised $18,858 for WISE and the Vermont Community Foundation, Lu said.
Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority won the PAAR coordinator prize for the first house to raise $2,000 for CHaD and is currently leading the fundraising efforts, having raised over $3,000. Psi Upsilon fraternity is currently in second place with $2,105 raised by press time, according to Lu.
Brown said that this year's partnership between PAAR and CHaD arose from PAAR's initial success at harnessing the fun, competitive elements of Greek life for worthy causes.
"PAAR has established a structure that makes fundraising fun, and its competitive nature encourages collaboration and engagement among individual houses and Greek members," Brown said. "We particularly want to demonstrate to new Greek members and the community at large that philanthropy is the most important thing we do. We are committed to making our community a better place than we found it."
PAAR coordinates fundraising within the Greek system and then connects with CHaD, according to Lu. All Dartmouth teams sign up online through the CHaD half-marathon website, where funds are tracked.