Phi Delta Theta fraternities race to raise money

Phi Delta Theta fraternities race to raise money

The Phi Delta Theta fraternity recently ran a 170-mile relay from Eastern’s campus to the Iron Horse Monument in Vantage, Wash.

Phi Delta Theta’s chapter adviser originally provided the idea for this event about a year ago, according to member Kyle Bondo.

After that, Bondo met with the chapter adviser a couple of times before calling the fraternity’s general headquarters to ask for resources. Bondo said that the idea flourished from that point forward.

According to Nick Sweeney, president of the EWU Interfraternity Council, the fraternity was able to garner support from alumni.

Various camping spots along the course provided the fraternity members with free camping as well.

This relay raised money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, research.

Sweeney explained that the run was significant because Lou Gehrig was a Phi Delta Theta member and was also called the Iron Horse.

Currently, the EWU chapter has raised $6,500 for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research from this run.

Sweeney took the weekend shift for the relay and ended up having to run eight consecutive miles.

“It was 34 degrees and pouring rain on these dirt roads for eight miles. It was definitely the hardest physical challenge I’ve ever done,” Sweeney said. “I’m definitely not a runner, but I knew I wanted to do my part and contribute.”

Bondo wished he had prepared more for the relay by running longer distances, but he said that the terrain he had to run on proved to be the most difficult aspect of the event.

“We didn’t take I-90. We took the back roads all the way across the state through winding roads and miles of farmland,” Bondo said. “We did get lost a couple of times, which was difficult to correct when you’re out of cell service in the middle of nowhere.”

Both Bondo and Sweeney stated that they had not done much, if any, training to prepare for the run.

“Since we were only running one mile before switching to the next person, I figured that I would have enough time to rest in between cycles,” Bondo said.

This event was part of Phi Delta Theta’s efforts to become an Iron Phi Chapter.

According to Sweeney, a chapter must raise $10,000 over the course of the year in order to gain this title.

An individual member can also become an Iron Phi by raising $1,000 on their own. Sweeney hopes to achieve this goal and become the fourth Iron Phi at Eastern.

“I am personally at [$500], and I’m really trying to make that push to become an Iron Phi,” Sweeney said.

Bondo is already looking ahead to next year. He said he plans to do the event again, and he hopes that the fraternity will be able to double their philanthropic efforts by getting more chapters involved.

“I personally found it rewarding to see my men in my fraternity so excited and happy to do something that is beneficial to other people,” Bondo said.