Tuesday, November 03, 2009

UNK Sig Eps Raise Money for MD Cure

UNK fraternity organizes muscular dystrophy fundraiser
By SARA GIBONEY Hub Staff Writer

KEARNEY - Sigma Phi Epsilon at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is working to raise funds to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy.

The "SigEp Stride & Ride" will be from 6-11 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Cushing Fieldhouse at UNK. All proceeds will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

"It's an amazing cause and an amazing way for the Kearney community to come together to raise money for an association like this and help to raise money for the cure," said Brock Blankenship, philanthropy chair of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Muscular dystrophy is a disorder that affects the function of muscles and causes muscle weakness.

The fraternity's walk-a-thon aims to raise both money and awareness for muscular dystrophy.

"We had heard from a lot of our chapters in different states and cities that a lot of their philanthropies were through the MDA and they were a huge success," Blankenship said. "The MDA is very, very compassionate toward the cause."

Kyle McBride, vice president of programming for Sigma Phi Epsilon and the main organizer for the event, said he was doing research on philanthropies for the fraternity and was moved by the MDA's summer camp program for kids.

"It brought back my memories of summer camp when I was a kid," he said. "Summer camp helped build who I am now."

"When I was contacting people, it just struck an interest with me."

Sigma Phi Epsilon hopes to raise $10,000 for the cause.

Individuals can join teams and collect donations before the event. During the event, teams will walk the track in the fieldhouse. The team that raises the most money will win a golden shoe trophy.

So far, about five teams have signed up. The fraternity hopes 20 more teams will register.

McBride said teams can walk as long as they want during the event.

Sponsors can also pay to advertise during the event.

Students will sell cause bracelets during the fundraiser. Proceeds will also go to MDA. Refreshments will also be served during the walk-a-thon.

According to its Web site, MDA is a non-profit health agency that works to cure muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and related diseases by funding worldwide research.

The MDA sponsors 220 hospital-affiliated clinics and supports almost 400 research projects around the world. The association's comprehensive service program includes medical examinations, flu shots, support groups, MDA summer camps for children and assistance with the purchase of wheelchairs and leg braces.

To sign up, go to joinmda.org/kearneynestrideandride2009 or for more information call Kyle McBride at 440-0811.